As long as I can remember the Frank Capra’s 1946 movie “It’s A Wonderful Life” with James Stewart playing George Bailey is aired every year. With the advent of Cable TV and increased programming offerings, for the past several years I have not see it. This year, I find myself wanting to see this movie. read more . . .
Monthly Archives: December 2011
In an award winning essay a young boy expressed his desire to have a Christmas tree. His mother would not allow him to have one because of the connotations of idol worship. This young boy made his case by outlining how his mother had taught him about Jesus and he understood the true meaning of Christmas. His prayer was that his mother would let him have a Christmas tree.
I was touched by the young boy’s earnest and sincere plea. You see, all too often we grasp a hold of something and stand on it as gospel. How many of us worship Christmas Trees? Not many, if any.
Perceived idol worship can be visualized in many forms. You see many of us take pride in wearing designer clothes and other paraphernalia. Is that worshipping them? This young man made a valuable point that if he completely understands the meaning of Christmas as being the birth of Jesus Christ why would he be denied having a tree.
I ran across an article in the World NetDaily by Gary DeMar that identified some key elements to reinforce this young boy’s debate.
“Just because pagans might have used trees to worship their gods does not mean that we can’t use them to teach us something about God who has given us the “indescribable gift” of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 9:15). The Christmas tree, as it is now designated, is an evergreen that reminds us that we have “eternal life” in Jesus Christ (John 6:40). The shape of the tree reminds us that we are “born from above” (John 3:3). The needles on the branches remind us that Jesus was “pierced through for our transgressions” (Isaiah 53:5).’
The lights hung on the tree remind us that Jesus is “the light of the world” (John 8:12) and through Him we are to be “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). The ornaments we hang on the tree and the presents we place under the tree remind us that “every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow” (James 1:17).’
Instead of condemning the Christmas tree as some pagan object brought into our homes from the pagan cold, it can be used to remind us that God promises us “the right to the tree of life” (Revelation 22:14).”
Apparently the mother had done a good job in teaching her son the meaning of Christmas. Yet, she did not have faith in her son and trust in what she had poured inside of him.
During this Christmas season, we have to use it as an opportunity to share its true meaning. This is the time we celebrate God’s ultimate gift to mankind, the birth of His only begotten Son so the breach for our eternal existence would be repaired so we could have the right to everlasting life. God who loved us so much gave the ultimate gift for us to be free of the limitations of this world.
We don’t celebrate the Christmas tree, but we do celebrate the One who created the trees, who gave man wisdom to design a Christmas tree so we can use it to share the blessing inherent in the birth of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior and the gift of eternal life.
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For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe. They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not. They are upright as the palm tree, but speak not: they must needs be borne, because they cannot go. Be not afraid of them; for they cannot do evil, neither also is it in them to do good. Jer 10:3-5 (KJV)
But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens. Jer 10:10-11 (KJV)
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18 (KJV)
Father, This is such an awesome time of year for me to share the goodness of the birth of Your son Jesus. What a gift You bestowed on humankind to redeem us as Your own so we can enjoy eternal life with You and Your son. Bless us not to squander this time, but to use it wisely to share the good news to a hurting world in order for them to be reconciled so they too can receive the same gift of eternal life. Amen
When I initially embarked on the Oh Break Out journey more than six years ago, I identified the person I wanted to be the coordinator for the event. At the first meeting I communicated this to everyone. Howbeit, the person I selected wasn’t even there. Yet, I felt she was the right person. read more . . .
It is a humbling experience as you approach an event such as Oh Break Out! You’ve sweat and you’ve toiled to the point that your emotions bounce all over the place. Suddenly it dawns on you; I was never in control in the first place. God is the one who is and has always been in control. It is as though He allows us to move through and at the right moment He lets us know that He truly has everything in His hands. read more . . .