Merry X-mas

Yes, that was the headlines the media besieged us with not that long ago.

Now it’s Happy Holidays.

The schools do not instruct the students that their coming time away from the classroom has something to do with the birth of the Savior, Jesus the Christ becoming one of us. No, that’s left up to the parents. We walk the malls and see tinsel, wreaths and green artificial trees decorated with balls of holly, and perhaps a store just might have a nativity set in the display window as we quickly pass by, or another may have boxes of miniature or large outdoor nativity sets for sale. Hallmark cards may have scenes of the nativity, may have Merry Christmas on the front with best wishes for the Holiday Season inside. The gift giving spirit has been dominating since Thanksgiving. We’ve purchased our live evergreen tree and carefully hung the hundreds of ornaments, wreaths and strings of lights blinking to one of a dozen patterns, and finally a star has been placed on top. We check the water daily. It’s ready for the presents, some held back for the kids to open the morning of the 25th.

xmastree-times-square-nyny
Times Square

Christmas themed movies appear throughout the cable guide devoted to an actor/actress achievement of their Santa wish: a long-ago love coming back into their life, the wish for the family reconciliation, a wish for this or that, one you secretly gave to the department store Santa years ago. All heartwarming stories that touch us. Some that are humorous. Clean wholesome movies the family can enjoy together.

Santa Claus is everywhere; ringing the bell in front of the grocery store, at the center of the department store, as another Santa in the center of the mall has children lined up ready to sit on his lap. Santa is selling cars, furniture, and cell-phones on TV.

Neighborhood homes have lights strung around the roofs, artificial snow and a full-sized snowman or Santa on a sleigh on the front lawn, some nativity sets here and there. On a roof is Rudolf leading the Santa sled with piles of presents. Churches have the nativity sets and a few here and there may have actors dressed as Joseph and Mary around the nativity scene. To attract the kiddies some may have Santa with a backpack filled with presents. This year the date falls on a Monday, so the churches will be full on Sunday enjoying the choir singing, the band may play Silent Night, and the pastor reads the story of the reason for the season. All is well, Jesus was born as a child in Bethlehem.

Yes, this is the Christmas season society has developed for us over the years.

In America, we have that freedom. Other places penalize Christmas displays of any kind.

Our creator God looked down upon this marvelous creation over the years interacting with various humans throughout our natural history for a way to redeem His most important part of creation. God saved Noah and his family from the wrath of the flood to start over desiring that they act according to the original idea of honoring the Creator and worshiping Him alone in spirit and truth. History records that we humans failed to obey those commandments again. So, the time has come, God declares one last act of compassionate mercy by sending a part of Himself to inhabit a human body, to live and grow up among other humans sharing in their lives, to teach and to demonstrate the majestic creative and sustaining powers to the likes of us all.

Since we are limited in our vision to this physical world, God became one of us.

We failed all in the past, so now this is the final gift, the last hope, a final way for His family of man to accept the loving merciful forgiveness of our sins of disobedience being redeemed and the gift of a new spiritual life to honor, worship and obey.

Merry Christmas.

Thanks Giving

This Thanksgiving day, I give  thanks for those way back in history who recoded their events and thoughts by engravings on the walls of caves, on papyrus, the invention of paper, the typewriter, newspapers and books, the Bible so that now we have records to read and understand more fully our heritage. For William Bradford coming up with the idea of private property and control leading the way to that great experiment of personal liberty and prosperity for all: our constitution.

 

 

Happy Holidays

Here we are, Thanksgiving 2017 is fast approaching. And then Christmas. The stores are overloaded with all the ingredients for a happy thanksgiving and Merry X-mas. The commercials are humming. TV’s a glittering with weather updates for anywhere. News shows the airports jammed, shows us the latest crime scenes, where the detours are, so beware folks, but have a happy thanksgiving and merry whatever anyway.

first-thanksgiving painting

Painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863-1930)

Huh? Happy Holidays. Gads. The pressure. Family gatherings. Trips. Be Happy. Be thankful, Macy’s having a parade. Keep the kiddies busy. Pies to bake. Get the stuff down from the attic. Cooking or going out, yeah, let’s go out. It’s too much. Where are those pills.

How can anyone be happy with all this bombarding us in front of our face and behind our back?

And yet, we do provide a happy face.

Do we take time to reflect, to think of the What, the Who, the Where and When all this holiday season started and Why.

Some parts of the world are not so joyful this time of year, so why are we? Yes, it’s our American heritage dedicated to individual freedoms over and above that of kings and queens, presidents and magistrates. “We hold these truths to be self-evident…” But are we about to lose all that as society appears to be elevating self-gratification over virtuousness.

George Washington wrote, “Human rights can only be assured among a virtuous people.”

Benjamin Franklin wrote, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom.”

Patrick Henry said, “A vitiated [impious] state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom.”

Virtue as defined by Webster is:

  1. .moral excellence; goodness; righteousness.
  2.  conformity of one’s life and conduct to moral and ethical principles; uprightness; rectitude.
  3. .chastity; virginity: to lose one’s virtue.
  4. .a particular moral excellence.
  5. . a good or admirable quality or property: the virtue of knowing one’s weaknesses.

Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

 

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