In the Time of Christ’s Birth…

 

1 Around this time, Emperor Augustus issued an order for a census to be taken throughout the Empire. 2 This registration, the first of its kind, took place when Quirinius was governing in Syria.3 Everyone went to be registered, each to his own town. 4 So Yosef, because he was a descendant of David, went up from the town of Natzeret in the Galil to the town of David, called Beit-Lechem, in Y’hudah, 5 to be registered, with Miryam, to whom he was engaged, and who was pregnant. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to give birth; 7 and she gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him in cloth and laid him down in a feeding trough, because there was no space for them in the living-quarters. 8 In the countryside nearby were some shepherds spending the night in the fields, guarding their flocks, 9 when an angel of ADONAI appeared to them, and the Sh’khinah of ADONAI shone around them. They were terrified; 10 but the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, because I am here announcing to you Good News that will bring great joy to all the people. 11 This very day, in the town of David, there was born for you a Deliverer who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 Here is how you will know: you will find a baby wrapped in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.” 13 Suddenly, along with the angel was a vast army from heaven praising God: 14 “In the highest heaven, glory to God! And on earth, peace among people of good will!” 15 No sooner had the angels left them and gone back into heaven than the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go over to Beit-Lechem and see this thing that has happened, that ADONAI has told us about.” 16 Hurrying off, they came and found Miryam and Yosef, and the baby lying in the feeding trough. 17 Upon seeing this, they made known what they had been told about this child; 18 and al who heard were amazed by what the shepherds said to them. 19 Miryam treasured all these things and kept mulling them over in her heart. 20Meanwhile, the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen; it had been just as they had been told.

Luke 2:1-20  CJB

I’ll Have an Order of Bah – With a Side of Humbug, please

I struggle a little more each year with the concept of Christmas. Now, I’m not going to waste time going through all the gyrations about Christmas being a Paegan holiday. You can see places like http://www.livescience.com/25779-christmas-traditions-history-paganism.html  or http://www.simpletoremember.com/vitals/Christmas_TheRealStory.htm  for some already published information on such things!  That’s not the focus of this writing. What I want  is to address the believer – those that keep saying they want Christ kept as the reason for the season – and what I truly feel that means.

Dear Brothers in Christ, ponder these things with me, please. Christ was born to be both man and God. Although Mary – the vessel used for the Messiah’s virgin birth – had been visited by the angel Gabriel, it appears even she didn’t get the full grasp of what was being accomplished by God. The Bible states, in regard to the shepherds and their visit:

 Hurrying off, they (the shepherds) came and found Miryam and Yosef, and the baby lying in the feeding trough. Upon seeing this, they made known what they had been told about this child;  and all who heard were amazed by what the shepherds said to them.  Miryam treasured all these things and kept mulling them over in her heart.  Luke 2:16-19

Now, let’s think of the wise men who visited. Jesus was so important that wise men brought him valuable gifts to celebrate His birth. This was the custom extended to only kings at that time. So, basically the wise men proclaimed Jesus a king – worldly confirmation of what the heavenlies had already proclaimed. They didn’t show up randomly, or quickly. They did not arrive at the feeding trough Jesus was born in. It took them time, up to two years in accordance to the timeline shown in the Bible. They left their homes, risking their lives with King Herod, to honor Christ with their gifts.

So, Mary – who was there at conception – pondered what the shepherds spoke of the angels sharing with them while they were in the fields. Jesus received gifts for his birth (not AT it) because HE was King, and worthy of those gifts.  THIS was the birth of Christ in a nutshell.

I challenge my fellow believers in Jesus Christ as Messiah, LORD and Savior, to really celebrate Christ’s birth. To me, this looks a whole lot different than what we do. WE assign lordship to friends and family by extending presents to them. (Remember, it was Jesus who received the gifts) and WE accept lordship by accepting presents from others. Think about that for a minute – ponder it, as Mary pondered things. WE decorate our churches with the worldly delights of trees, lights, bows and other such frills of the Christmas season. The only “decorations” at Christ’s birth was the adornment of a star from heaven and the appearance of the heavenlies proclaiming His Glory. Anything WE do in our churches and homes are pale – to the point of non-existent – in comparison. WE send out Christmas cards that remind people that “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” or that they need to “Keep Christ in Christmas”. Do those even begin to tell what the angels gave the shepherd, and what they shared (both going to and coming back from) with those they saw?

… when an angel of ADONAI appeared to them, and the Sh’khinah of ADONAI shone around them. They were terrified; but the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, because I am here announcing to you Good News that will bring great joy to all the people. This very day, in the town of David, there was born for you a Deliverer who is the Messiah, the Lord.  Here is how you will know: (emphasis mine) you will find a baby wrapped in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.” Luke 2:9-12

I’ll go out on a limb here, and say our cards and greetings are not even coming CLOSE!

You want Jesus to be the reason for your celebration this year, Dear Christian? I dare say He would find it more appealing for you to be out telling the Good News, sharing His love, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and telling all about the sin they are bound to, UNLESS they receive their delivery from it – that delivery being through Christ.  Your gift to Him should be to share His gift to you.

And, really, should WE only be doing that on a “special” day set aside by the world?  I’m just sayin’…

My ACLU-Proof Plan…

‘Tis the season, once again, for the annual Christmas Dance of the ACLU.  Yes, they have begun their yearly junket of lawsuits against public displays of Nativity Scenes for the Christ – er, I mean, Holiday Season.

Here’s my plan, and I am hoping it might become your plan, too.  See, I live in a small town on a State Hwy.  Right on the corner.  Get loads of traffics.  So, this year, I am building this to display in my front yard: 

There really IS more than one way to make a “public” display.  And this display is ACLU-proof.  You can obtain the pattern for this Nativity here.  It is a “beginner” project and only requires one sheet of plywood.  The pattern is a mere $13.99.

Happy Whatever-You-Wannakah!

Just In Time For The Holidays

Atheists Post Hateful Christmas Sign

By Floyd and Mary Beth Brownart_atheist_sign_olympia

“Freedom of speech was never meant to be a license for fringe groups to insult and antagonize the rest of us,” says Larry Stickney, President of the Washington Values Alliance. “While we must all do our best to respect the opinion of those we don’t agree with,” he says, “the 1st Amendment also guarantees our constitutional right to carry on our nation’s religious culture and traditions and we should be able to do so without petty harassment.”

The saga all started in October when Washington State gave a permit to a Wisconsin-based atheist group to display its sign alongside a Christian Nativity scene in the state’s Capitol in Olympia. The lengthy message on the sign states in part, “At this season of the Winter Solstice, may reason prevail. There are no gods, no devils, no angels, no heaven or hell.” It then goes into hateful attack mode, saying, “There is only our natural world. Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds.”

Read the whole story here.

And  I really enjoyed THIS sign…..mock_interior
Who would be left to decide what goodness was?

I’m just sayin’…

The Greatest Christmas Gift

THE NATIVITY
May you be blessed this Christmas season, and in the coming year.
From our family to yours,
Barry, Robin and the Schneider Clan

Luke 2:1-19
Now it came about in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all were proceeding to register for the census, everyone to his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house of David. In order to register, along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child.

And it came about that while they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her first born son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manager, because there was no room for them in the inn.

And in the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields, and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. And the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manager.”

And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”

And it came about when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made know to us.”

And they came in haste and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manager. And when they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.