Christmas

  • Christmas Eve Wonder

    Page 1


    And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

    Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

    Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

    And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

    So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”

    And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things, which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising G-d for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.


    The Story Of Christmas And The Christ Child ; Annies Wise Men Page ; Christmas Art ; A few non-Santa pics ;
    Christmas clip art ; Chritmas Graphics and clip-art ; Large selection of links ; check out the Christ based ones
    The blessings of Christmas – i.e. of His First Coming; for Messiah Yeshua was not born at this time of the year, and it is not a festival commanded by G-d or by the Lord Himself . Like Easter, the traditions how to observe the holiday are of pagan origin. Because it is a joyful celebration of the Savior’s Birth it is comparable to a birthday party. Elves, Santa Claus living at the northpole, reindeers etc. have abolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the “reason for the seaon”. The last page on the Electronic Tabernacle’s Christmas pages is devoted to explaining who the trueSaint Nikolaus was.

  • Page 2

    For unto us a Child is Born to us a Son is given;
    and the government will be upon His shoulder,
    and His Name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty G-d,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”
    Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end,
    upon the throne of David, and over His Kingdom, to establish it,
    and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness
    from this time forth and for evermore.
    The zeal of the L-RD of hosts will do this (Isaiah 9:6-7).

    For no matter how often we go to church,
    how faithful we abide by all the rules of Islam,
    no matter how often we fast and how many good works we do,
    we cannot save ourselves from the corrupt nature of the flesh.
    Sin is a “terminal disease” that kills both body and spirit.
    No religious observance, no ever so stringent religious rules
    can deliver mankind from the chains of sin and death.
    No ever so intensive medical researchn will be able to identify the DNA”
    of sin and death and erase it. And it is impossibler that the blood
    of bulls and goats should take away sins.

    Corruption cannot heal corruption, and what is cursed cannot bless itself.
    Human nature is not able to overcome sin by its own strength.
    The corrupt flesh ncannot fight corrupt flesh; the sinful nature cannot fight sin.
    The law of nature teaches these principles. What is required is the
    destruction of the old nature and the creation of a new one in its stead.
    Consequently, when Messiah came into the world He said,
    “Sacrifices and offerings You have not desired, but a BODY have You prepared for me;
    in burnt offerings and sin offerings You have taken no pleasure.
    Then I said, ‘Lo, I have come to do Your will, O G-d,
    as it is written of me in the roll of the Book.'” (Heb. 10:4-7; Ps 40:6-8)

    And this G-d has accomplished by manifesting Himself to Israel
    as “Ben Adam/Son of Man,” fulfilling the promise of Isaiah 7:14.
    “Therefore the L-RD Himself will give you (House of David a sign:
    Behold, a veiled lass, a young virgin shall conceive and bear a Son,
    and shall call His Name Im’anu’el – G-d with us.

    Allowing His incorruptible nature to be clothed with a body of flesh like ours
    He delivered this body up to curse and death to atone for sin,
    and to destroy the power of sin and death. But He Who is the Eternal G-d
    and Everlasting Father, after having delivered up this body of flesh
    for its blood to be shed and to be handed over to death and Hades,
    was made alive again by the power of the Spirit of G-d.
    It was but a body of flesh, of bones and blood that died and was buried.

    G-d Who is Spirit and eternal never died, but rose again from the dead.
    Yet for our sake He now lives in an incorruptible body, that whoever
    will believe on Him will be saved from the power of sin and eternal death.
    For when He shall come again as King of kings and Lord of lords,
    all who have thus believed and hoped in Him shall receive a body like His.
    But the power of sin and the fear of death is undone the same instant
    a human being comes to the Savior by faith.

    And why should it be thought strange that the Almighty Creator should manifest
    as Father, Son and Holy Spirit? Is not even a mere mortal man of a plural identity?
    For a human being does manifest as a son, a brother, a husband and father:
    one single man, yet of four distinct identies none of which may be interchanged.
    For a man may not act toward his parents and siblings as though
    they were his children, nor toward his wife as though he were her child,
    nor toward his daughter as though he were her husband.
    Doing so is an abominable perversion which destroys life, mind and soul.

    G-d is One, and there is no other G-d. But He is a G-d of
    three distinct identities who are always in agreement and perfectly One.
    Therefore G-d also said in the beginning, “Let US make man in OUR Image
    and after OUR Likeness;” and man became a triune being of spirit, soul and body.
    The body is visible to the eye, the soul through man’s actions,
    and the spirit in man’s moral character.

    G-d came to us that holy night as a Son, a little Child laid in a humble manger;
    for just as there is no room for Him in the hearts of so many men,
    so was there no room for Him in the inn.  But He is Im’anu’el-God with us
    for everyone who believes ever since that holy night in Bethlehem.

  • Silent Night of Everlasting Joy

    Page 3
    SilentNight

    coloradonightswords

    Moon will glow in beauty In softness of the night…
    … when in holy awe all of creation is silent far and wide. 
    For a Child was born, a Son was given, that night two millennia ago,
    in the city of David, for a hope to all mankind and peace on earth.
    Then the silence suddenly was filled with shouts of joy,
    with loud praises by a multitude of the heavenly hosts saying, 
    “Glory to G-d in the highest and on earth peace among men and good will.”


    For G-d so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
    that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
    For G-d sent the Son into the world, not to condemn the world,
    but that the world might be saved through Him (John 3:16-17).

    For if you confess with your lips that Yeshua is Lord and believe in your heart
    that G-d raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For man believes with his heart
    and so is justified, and he confesses with his lips and so is saved (Romans 10:9-10).

    There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Messiah Yeshua.
    For the law of the Spirit of life in Messiah Yeshua has set us free
    from the law of sin and death. For G-d has done what Torah,
    weakened by the flesh, could not do: sending His own Son in the likeness of
    sinful flesh and as a sin offering, He condemned sin in the flesh,
    in order that the just requirement of Torah might be fulfilled in us,
    who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

    And if the Spirit of Him Who raised Yeshua from the dead dwells in us,
    He Who raised Messiah Yeshua from the dead will give life to our
    mortal bodies also through His Spirit which dwells in us (Romans 8:1-4,11).

    Therefore we also must consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to G-d
    in Messiah Yeshua with Whom we were buried by baptism into death [mikve, immersion],
    so that as Messiah was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,
    we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him
    in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a
    resurrection like His (Romans 6:4-5, 11).

    Let us therefore heed the message of the angelic host and join
    the shepherds worshiping the Child, rejoicing in Him Whom G-d had promised.
    For their eyes saw G-d’s salvation which He had prepared in the presence of all peoples,
    a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to His people Israel (Luke 2:30:32).

    Let us not fear what men can say or do to us.
    But with a broken heart and a contrite spirit
    let us come to Him who freely will receive us
    and liberally grant us our petition.
    Come to Him and pray this way:

    “Dear Lord Yeshua, I recognize and acknowledge that I am a sinner.
    I was conceived in sin and am condemned to die in sin.
    Even if I had kept all G-d’s commandments,
    my righteousness would still be as filthy rags.
    My nature is corrupt because of sin,
    and I am not able to do right even when I want to.
    Make me your own, your faithful disciple,
    and be my Savior, my Lord and King.”

    “Forgive me, I pray, O Lord G-d Almighty, Heavenly Father, of all my sins
    and former ways, and cleanse me from all unrighteousness in Yeshua’s Name.
    Forgive me my pride in which I thought I could save myself on my own.
    Have mercy on me, and in your great compassion
    save me from sin and death. Make me a new creation,
    with the old me passed away, dead and buried.
    Give me “new birth” and raise me up together with Yeshua,
    and make me your child, a child of G-d.”

    “O Lord Yeshua, come into my heart and reign in it,
    that I may reign as king in life, in peace and joy and in the hope
    of eternal salvation.
    I thank you, Lord, and give you praise, that you have heard
    and answered my prayer. From this day forward
    I consider myself your own, a born again child of G-d,
    recreated in the Image and after the Likeness of your Son,
    my Savior and Lord, Yeshua the Messiah.
    Amen and Amen.”

    Hearts are warm and tender
    Dreams have all been found
    Deep within a snowy woods
    Where love is always bound

    Moon is smiling on us
    Warmth within this snow
    Hearts will gently whisper
    This gentle love I know…

    Come, Lord Yeshua!


    The poem is by Francine Pucillo
    ©used with permission
    Read more of her poetry here:
    POETRY~EMOTION

  • The Reason for Christmas Day

    Page 4


    And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all wne to be registered, everyone to his own city.

    Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, thecity of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

    Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

    And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

    So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.”

    And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things where were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

    Angel is by “Blue Mountain Greeting Cards”; Bethelehm pictures ; The Nativity Story ;
    Links to miscallenous Christmas sites (religious and other): ChristmasFreebies.com
    The Birth of Jesus Christ ; His Birth Date ; The Christmas Story – Michael W. Smith ; The King Is Born
     All Things Christmas ; Christmas Traditions; Manger Scenes ; Christmas – Christian Answers ;

  • Page 5

    The Santa Claus Christmas


    The  history of Santa Claus begins with a man called Nicolas (also spelled Nicholas). He was a bishop who lived in Myra of Asia Minor (what is now Turkey). He was well known for his wisdom and especially his charity. Nicholas of Myra became one of the most beloved saints and the object of extreme veneration, to a degree unequaled in the case of any other saint. He was cast into exile and prison during the persecution of Emperor Diocletian and released by Constantine the Great; he died in Myra about 350, and in the year 1087 his body was brought by Italian merchants from Myra to the city of Bari in Italy, where his relics are still preserved and venerated in the church of San Nicola, which they built in his honor. Bari is a port town in southern Italy.

    Soon Christian pilgrims from all over the world came to visit the church of Saint Nicholas. These pilgrims took the legend of Saint Nicholas back to their native lands. As the legend of Saint Nicholas spread it would take on the characteristics of each country.

    In Europe during the 12th century Saint Nicholas Day became a day of gift giving and charity. Germany, France, and Holland celebrated December 6th as a religious holiday and gave gifts to their children and the poor.

    The emperor Justinian built a church in his honor in Constantinople around the year 540. Nicholas is the patron saint of entire nations, including Greece, Russia, Sicily, and Lorraine, and many cities throughout Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, and Italy. He is also patron saint of children, bakers, merchants, and mariners.

    The Feast of St. Nicholas on Dec. 6 has been observed with great enthusiasm throughout Medieval Europe over the centuries. This enthusiasm was due to the many legends that had grown up around Nicholas: that he had distributed gifts to the poor at night through their windows, had fasted while a baby, had helped dowerless maidens, saved a city from famine, had aided a ship in distress.

    Because of the gift-giving legends associated with Nicholas, it was held (especially in Belgium and Holland) that on the Eve the Feast of Nicholas, the bishop himself would come from heaven and visit children in their homes, giving gifts to those who had been good. Nicholas, decked out in full ecclesiastical garb (bishop’s vestments, with miter and crozier), would arrive on a flying gray horse (or white donkey, depending on the custom). In some variations of the legend, he was accompanied by Black Peter, an elf whose job was to punish children who had been bad.

    There is universal consensus that the person most responsible for shaping the American version of Santa Claus is Dr. Clementsantadecorates1cp Clark Moore, a theology and classics professor at Union Seminary. What did Moore do to earn this honor? He wrote a simple poem for his children in 1822 entitled, “A Visit from St. Nicholas,” that begins with the now famous words,

    Twas the night before Christmas,
    when all through the house,
    Not a creature was stirring,
    not even a mouse.
    The stockings were hung
    by the chimney with care,
    In the hope that St. Nicholas
    soon would be there.
    There is a legend that Moore wrote this poem on Christmas Eve, 1822, during a carriage ride to his home in Greenwich Village and that the inspiration for the St. Nicholas in his story was the jolly Dutchman driving the carriage. Closer to the truth is the observation of Emrich that Moore was probably inspired by Irving’s Knickerbocker History and “The Children’s Friend,” which he almost certainly would have read. Specifically Irving’s description of Dutchmen in his story was Moore’s inspiration for St. Nick, claims Emrich. It must also be said that it is possible that Moore was familiar with the stories about Odin or Thor (see footnote #1).

    In any case, in describing St. Nicholas, Moore went beyond anything that had ever been said yet. It was Moore who increased the number of reindeer to eight and gave us their names. It was he who explicitly described Santa going up and down thechimney leaving toys in stockings hung by the fireplace. Moore’s St. Nick was “chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf;” he carried a bundle of toys on his back; “he had eyes that twinkled, dimples that were merry, cheeks like roses, a broad face, and a little round belly.” It’s interesting that Moore’s Santa was also a small elf who flew in a “miniature sleigh” pulled by eight “tiny” reindeer.

    The poem wasn’t published until a year later, and that secretly, without Moore’s consent. He didn’t think it worthy of publishing. Many others did, however, as it was an overnight sensation. Only 15 years later did he permit it to be included in a volume of collected works.

    It was Bavarian illustrator Thomas Nast, that gave us the picture of Santa Claus, now so common. Nast, the “father of American political cartooning,” drew more than 2200 cartoons for Harper’s Weekly from 1862 through 1886. Many of these were of Santa Claus at Christmas time. Before Nast, St. Nicholas had been pictured as everything from a stern looking bishop to a gnome-like figure in a frock (as he had been pictured in the first edition of Moore’s poem). Nast was clearly inspired by Moore’s 1823 poem, but he also added additional features to the Santa Claus evolution, such as Santa’s home at the North Pole, his workshop filled with elves, and his list of all the good and bad children of the world.

    Believe it or not, the Coca-Cola company also contributed to the modern Santa Claus. Beginning in 1931 and for 35 years, Coke ran advertisements that featured a human-size Santa (not elf-size) drinking Coke. These ads contributed much to the modern image of Santa Claus (and the drinking of coke!). 1

    St. Nicholas is given many different names in many different countries such as Father Christmas – Kris Kringle – Sankt Nikolaus – Santa Claus – Sinterklaas – La Befana – St. Nick – Pere Noel.

    Many countries have kept their own customs and traditions of Saint Nicholas. In some cultures Saint Nicholas travels with an assistant to help him. In Holland, Sinterklaas sails in on a ship arriving on December 6th. He carries a big book which tells him how the Dutch children have behaved during the past year. Good children are rewarded with gifts and the bad ones are taken away by his assistant, Black Peter.

    In Germany Saint Nicholas also travels with an assistant, known as Knecht Ruprecht, Krampus (Bavarian), or Pelzebock, and comes with a sack on his back and a rod (on which candies are tied) in his hand. Good children receive a gift, but naughty children are punished by the assistant with a few hits of the rod. Especially wicked children are even stuck into the sack and carried for a block or two, with a crowd of cheering children following Knecht Ruprecht.

    In Italy La Befana is a good witch who dresses all in black and brings gifts to children on the Epiphany, January 6th. In many Spanish countries; Spain, Puerto Rico, Mexico, and South America, the children wait for the Three Kings to bring their Christmas gifts.

    In France Father Christmas or Pere Noel bring gifts for the children. Switzerland has the Christkindl or Christ Child who bears gifts. In some towns children await the Holy Child and in others Christkindl is a girl-angel who comes down from heaven bearing gifts.

    The Scandinavian countries celebrate with an elf, called the julenisse or the juletomte who bears gifts. And in England Father Christmas, an more austere and thinner version of Santa Claus, brings gifts.

    rudolf_rednoseIn North America it is the round and plump “Ho Ho Ho’ing” Santa Claus who is married to “Mrs. Claus” withxmas_toy-shelf whom he lives at the northpole, together with a bunch of elves who work all year round in a Christmas factory making toys. Comes Christmas Eve he harnasses his reindeers to his sled and off he flies – with Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer in the lead – through the night sky to the children of the world, swooping down chimneys to fill up stockings hanging from fireplace mantels with goodies, and place a load of gift-wrapped presents under Christmas trees.

    magicalevening1cp

    As you can see, today’s tale of Santa Claus and the custom of impersonating him has hardly any resemblance anymore with the real Saint Nicolaus, and his reason for visiting the poor at Christmas. The only thing they have still in common is the passing out of gifts. However, the original Saint Nicolaus did it for the love of Christ and for the poor on His behalf. The modern day “invented” Santa comes with loads of gifts – but seldom for the poor – and many of the children don’t even know the real reason why there is a Christmas. They only dream of “Santa” and of the many toys they hope to get, and know nothing of the Savior born in the city of David and laid in a manger, because there was no room for him in the inn.

    delightfuleve1cp

    Now it’s just all the Christmas “magic” with tinsels and stockings,
    with Christmas tree and fireplace, with cookies and eggnog —
    but without the Christ Child. Yet the only reason this holiday got ever
    started was to celebrate the birth of the Savior, the Messiah and
    King of Israel, Son of David born in Bethlehem.
    Hence, this is no longer CHRISTmas, but X-mas,
    the secular celebration of a holiday void of its meaning.
    It has been “X-ed” out.

    xmastree2

    All animations are by “Blue Mountain Greeting Cards”
    1 Quoted from “The Origin of Santa Claus and the Christian Response to Him”, by Pastor Richard P. Bucher, of Ev. Trinity Lutheran Church in Clinton, Massachusetts. For more in-depth information visit his web site. More info regarding St. Nicholas, and his many other names see “The Many Faces of Santa” ; The Evolution of the Santa Claus Myth ; The Santa Claus Myth
     SANTA CLAUS AT CLAUS.COM ; “Decoding” the “myth” of Santa Claus??? (an uncommon perspective)