...is when the tunes playing inside my head,
turn out to be the LORD trying to tell me something...
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
Well, as long as I'm ranting (see post just previous)...
Rocky at Chapter and Verse has this post about Christmas (which he spells 'Christmass'). His views agree very much with my late husband's and mine - except I learned some stuff I never knew when I read Rocky's post earlier today.
And reading what he had to say sparked off some thoughts I have had over the years about Christmas. So...
Years before I ever had kids, I saw a skit at a Christian coffee house, showing a little boy telling his Momma about how his buddy had told him there was no Santa, no Easter bunny, no tooth fairy. And the little boy had faithfully told his buddy, of course there is! My Momma told me there is. And she wouldn't lie to me.
And of course, Momma had to admit to him that, yes, she had lied to him.
The skit ended with the little boy looking up into Momma's face and saying, 'Did you lie about Jesus too?'
Can you guess that, when I did have kids, we didn't do the Santa/Easter bunny/tooth fairy thing?
I want my kids to be able to trust that if I tell them something, I'm not gonna come back later and say, 'oh that's really not true after all.' I want my kids to know that I will do my best to tell them the Truth - and especially about Jesus.
The feeding frenzy ~
My husband came from a family of 7 kids. One time, we spent Christmas with his folks, with all the grandkids there. And they did the present exchange. Oy!
They lined all the grands up on the floor around the tree. And one adult pulled out gifts, read the tags, and handed them around. While another adult stood there with a trash bag, grabbing the shredded wrapping paper from the kids as fast as they ripped it off the packages.
And there were scads of gifts per kid. They were ripping paper, glancing at what was inside, then dropping it to grab the next gift. Like an assembly line.
Like sharks with blood in the water.
And when it was all done - when there were no more gifts to wrench open - the kids were looking around, as if they were thinking, 'That's it? This is all we get?' When each one of them had a pile of new toys, etc, at their sides!
Greed. Greed central.
Nowadays, when Christmas rolls around, my parents (who live in another state) will usually send my kids a big box with one gift apiece in it. And one or two other relatives might do the same. And then a mysterious someone at church will give them each something. Also, my brother will send a check to get them a gift apiece with.
And I have learned that when the kids receive a box of gifts, whatever day it is - let them have the gift that day. One at a time. They appreciate the gift more, when it's the only thing they got that day.
Avoiding the feeding frenzy.
The songs ~
They will be played continuously this time of year, from the day after Thanksgiving until after New Year's Day. The 'Christmas carols.' Except many of them have nothing to do with Christmas - some are celebrations of the original pagan rituals - and the 'Christian' ones can have their facts so screwed up...!
Songs like 'Winter Wonderland' and 'Let it Snow.' These are simply winter songs. Why are they only played for Christmas? Shouldn't they be played right up through the start of spring?
Songs like 'Deck the Halls' and 'Wassailing.' These hark back to the rites of the pagans from before Christmas came into being. The Yule log and such. Hold-overs pointing back to the true origin of this winter holiday.
Songs like 'The First Noel.' Oh, that song sets my teeth on edge! They have the shepherds following the star, for crying out loud! Didn't anyone actually read their Bible before writing this one?
There are a few songs for this time of year that I do like. 'O Little Town of Bethlehem' - 'O Come O Come Emanuel' - 'Joy to the World.'
And the best of the lot, with its clearly evangelical lyrics: 'Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.' 'Born that men no more may die / born to raise the sons of earth / born to give them second birth...' (Now, that's a writer who was reading his Bible!)
The date ~
Speaking of 'this time of year'...
If the LORD had wanted us to celebrate HIS birth, don't you think HE would have indicated it clearly in the Bible just when HE was born? But out of four Gospels, Mark and John don't even cover the birth of the Savior. Matthew speaks of the birth, but doesn't bother to mention when it was.
Only Luke covers it in detail - and gives only clues as to the time of year. We know that it was six months after John the Baptist's birth - which was at least nine months after his father Zechariah's vision in the Temple while burning incense. At least nine months later - maybe more than that...
And we know that it was a time of year when the shepherds would be out in the fields at night to watch over their sheep. Which to me says, not likely in the dead of winter.
HIS death, on the other hand, is clearly dated. It was at Passover. All four Gospels tell us so.
To me, that says something. It says - the death and resurrection - that's the important part - focus there.
(But please! don't call it Easter! Which is the name of a pagan goddess - and fodder for another rant in about four months...)
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