Tag Archives: Christmas

Some Ideas About How to Celebrate Christmas!

How should we celebrate Christmas?

Well, if you are not a Christian, the best way to celebrate is by becoming a Christian, that is, by believing in Jesus as your Lord and Savior and asking him to come into your heart.

But if you already are a Christian, how is Christmas best celebrated?  There are many different views on the topic, but as I meditated on the Gospel accounts of Christ’s birth this season, an obvious theme regarding celebration jumped out at me.  I believe that by looking into the Scriptural accounts concerning the angels, Mary, Joseph, and the shepherds some valuable clues and some good examples of celebration can be found.

First and foremost, the angel Gabriel came to the shepherds with the great message that: Christ the Lord—the Savior of the world—had been born in the city of David.

“Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” the multitude of heavenly host praised!  So what was the response of the angels toward the events of the first Christmas?

“GLORY to God”, they  shouted!

The basic meaning of the Hebrew word for glory; which is kabod is: “heavy in weight.”  To give glory means to, “to give weight to, to honor.” “To give glory” is to praise, to recognize the importance of another and to give weight to the role one carries in the community.  And one of the main jobs of God’s people is–to praise Him and to glorify Him.

We are to recognize the essential nature of His Godness–his goodness; that which gives Him importance and weight in the human community and report it back to Him.

I believe that as we celebrate this time of year one of the best things we can do is to take a tip from the example of the angels and their celebration at that first Christmas.  One of the best ways Christmas can be celebrated is by giving the gift of praise—to God.  As I have studied the passages of the nativity story I have found some great examples of how praise was accomplished at the first Christmas.

I have taken the liberty to utilize the first letters of the principles that I discovered in the story and I have arranged them as the key words in an acronym, of the word praise.  As you are considering ways to celebrate Christmas this season it is my hope that use might use this simple acronym and the accompanying Scriptures to inspire you.

P            ponder

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. Luke 2:18-19

R            recognize Him

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.  Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.  John 1:10-12

A            acknowledge Him

Bless the LORD, O my soul; And all that is within me, bless His holy name!  Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits. Ps. 103:1-2

I            interpret your thoughts and feelings into words

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  “A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things. Mat. 12:35

S            say it, sing it aloud

Let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name. Heb 13:15

E            express the truth to all

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. Luke 2:16-18

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2009 Crossroads Women’s Christmas Tea — “A Christmas Dream Come True”

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“A Christmas Dream Come True” is the title of our upcoming Women’s Christmas Tea and Holiday Celebration.  This year “The Women at Crossroads” will host two sittings for tea with accompanying “Holiday Celebration” performances.

In addition to the traditional “high tea” served in an English style, the celebration part of the event, includes a program of about one hour in length–featuring music, drama and inspirational Christmas entertainment.

The 2009 dates for these popular events are Saturday December 5th at 12:30 P.M. and Saturday December 12th at 12:30 P.M. The seating is by reservation only and the ticket cost per person is $17.50, (for those interested in purchasing an entire table) each table seats ten.

Tickets will go on sale Sunday November 1st before the 9:00 A.M. service at the Women’s Ministry Counter on the east side of the main lobby at Crossroads Church of Denver. The ticket counter will open at 8:30 A.M.

This year the Holiday Celebration of “A Christmas Dream Come True” will feature vocal performances by Kory Brunson and Angela White; two gifted young artists familiar to Denver audiences.  The Kory Brunson band will supply the music with vocal support provided by The Crossroads Worship team.

The event will also feature a menu of superb tea delicacies supplied by Fancy to Fantasy Catered Affairs with impeccable service provided by the men and youth of Crossroads Church of Denver. Semi-formal Christmas attire is suggested for those in attendance.

Last year all tickets for this event sold out well before the performances, so we advise purchasing your tickets early.

We hope to see you there!

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Christmas Greetings

Vintage Christmas Greetings

Vintage Christmas Greetings

A greeting is by definition an acknowledgment or expression of good will, it often takes the form of a salutation exchanged upon meeting someone.  Gabriel the angelic messenger assigned by God to handle the news of the birth of Christ became practiced at delivering just such salutations. 

In the first chapter of the book of Luke we are told,

God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, to a virgin whose name was Mary and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you’.” 

The Greek word that is translated greetings is elsewhere translated “rejoice” in the New Testament.  It seems that in angel-speak the only phrase that can suffice when good news is virtually brimming in your throat is “joyful greetings.” Gabriel did not mean to frighten Mary as he approached her but we are told nonetheless that Mary was thoroughly shaken.  She was shocked and wondered what could possibly be behind such “joyful greetings.”  Likewise the shepherds were equally stunned when Gabriel burst on their scene months later announcing the same “greetings of great joy.”  Joyful greetings and the events of Christmas just seem to go together. 

 

To send forth joyful greetings in response to the good news of Christ’s birth is a natural reaction.  The shepherds on the morning of Christ’s birth went throughout Bethlehem passing on the “joyful tidings” that they had received to even more astonished recipients.  And the greetings have gone on and on now for over two-thousand years.  The question is, as you face Christmas are youlike the many faithful who have gone before youbrimming with “joyful greetings”? Or is “bah-humbug” more akin to what is really on your lips?  It may be time for an attitude check.  If Christians are not prepared to send forth the good news through Christmas greetings who will?  This is why it is important that before we launch into the holy day festivities we prepare our hearts and have our joy rekindled.           

 

All of those who claim Jesus as their Savior are ambassadors of God’s Kingdom and like Gabriel it is our duty to deliver the life changing Christmas greetings.  The true Christmas greetings the good tidings of the gospel are calling out to be sent.  Sent to the checker at the grocery store, to the single mom up the street, to the teen-ager next door, and to whoever crosses your path and is willing to listen.  But are you willing to get involved in the process?  Christmas greetings can be spoken, they can be written, and they can even be sung.  They can be delivered, in a letter, in a card, in an e-mail, over the phone, or over the back fence but they must be delivered.

 

In Matthew 28, following his resurrection Jesus went forth with excited anticipation to be reunited with his disciples and after he said, (you guessed it) “Greetings” he made it clear what they ought to do.  “Go into all the world and teach all nations, the things I have made known to you.”  Jesus called his disciples to participate in the spreading of the good news.  Just like Gabriel, the angel choir, the shepherds and the wise men, they were called to go forth and meet and greet new ones with the news of the incarnate Christ’s coming to the world and the salvation he has to offer.  This Christmas before you get all involved with the buying of presents, before you take on the task of decking the halls, or preparing for the endless holiday meals, ask the Lord who he would have you share some “Christmas greetings” with.  Who would God send you to as a messenger of His timeless good news?  Pray and ask the Lord to show you the divine appointments he has scheduled for you this season.  Be like Gabriel so many years ago and be faithful to share the good tidings of Christ’s birth, death and resurrection with a waiting and wondering recipient.

 

 

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The mailing of Christmas greetings has been an American tradition for well over one hundred and fifty years. The first Christmas cards actually came from humble origins beginning as handwritten letters and artwork sent from school children to their families around the holidays.  It was not until after the invention of the steam printing press in the 1840s that Christmas cards as we know them today began to appear.  The first cards specifically for use at Christmas were printed in England in 1843 and within a decade the custom of sending cards soon spread to the United States. Initially, Americans had to import their Christmas cards from Europe and it was 1875 before Christmas cards were published in the U.S. 

 

The first Christmas cards were not cheap and with prices ranging from .75 to $1.25 only wealthy Americans of the time could afford to send them.  It was the postcard boom of the early 1900’s that made sending Christmas greetings a custom that most Americans could afford.  By 1907 the American public was wrapped in the idea of the “penny postcard”, and with more and more Americans moving west, mailing a postcard was an inexpensive way to send Christmas communications to the relatives and friends back east.  It was the “penny postcard” craze that firmly established the tradition of sending Christmas greetings in the U.S. 

 

Christmas greetings in the 21st century have endured a similar twist of the times. As expenditures for Christmas cards have again become “pricey” and the cost to mail them equally high, Americans of the last decade have once again changed the face of Christmas greetings.  Today the least expensive way to send a message to those we hold dear is a down-loaded e-mail full of Christmas tidings.  These digital Christmas-grams have begun to replace the Christmas cards and postcards of old and sending personally designed messages clad with an individual’s personal digital photos has become the new craze.     

 

How ever you choose to send them, Christmas greetings can bring wishes of joy and health and the good news of Jesus Christ to those we know and love. Christmas cards, postcards, e-mails and the like give us the opportunity to honor our intentions to “keep in touch” with an old friend or relative. They bring joy to those who receive them, not just because of a beautiful illustrations or inscriptions, but because they all say, in intent, “I thought about you this Christmas and wanted to share with you all the joy of Christmas that is in my heart.”

 

Do you send Christmas Greetings of any type during the holiday season? If you do why do you think it is an important practice?  And what form do your Christmas Greetings take cards, postcards, e-mails, phone calls, personal visits etc.  Please respond and comment with your views concerning Christmas Greetings?  We would like to know what you think?   

  

 

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