Sun, 2017-12-24 12:11
The True Meaning of Christmas:
Write-up about Christmas Celebrations in the Olden Days
Back in the early 1700’s, when the United States were the Colonies, the settlers in Williamsburg, capital of Colonial Virginia, celebrated Christmas with customs they had brought from England. There was no Santa Claus (a Dutch tradition), no Christmas trees (a German tradition), no Nativity creche (an Italian tradition), and no chimney stockings (an American tradition).
Christmas in Colonial Williamsburg was primarily a holy day, but the atmosphere was not solemn. Churches and homes were decorated with greens, while candles burned in all the windows to welcome carolers.
There was a public celebration, too. Musicians played special concerts, and fireworks and cannon were exploded to heighten the general merriment. Feasting was in order with dishes of roasted fowl and hare, pudding, ham, oysters, sausage, shellfish, often capped by whole roast boar on a platter. Some gifts were given then as part of the Christmas celebration, but not nearly on the present-day scale. The main focus was the commemoration and celebrations of the birth of the Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
There is a general concern today that “Christ” has been taken out of “Christ”mas, and in some instances the word Christmas is now spelled Xmas.
Luke 2:8–14 (LB) That night some shepherds were in the fields outside the village, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly an angel appeared among them, and the landscape shone bright with the glory of the Lord. They were badly frightened, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you the most joyful news ever announced, and it is for everyone! 11The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born tonight in Bethlehem! 12 How will you recognize him? You will find a baby wrapped in a blanket, lying in a manger!” 13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God: 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,” they sang, “and peace on earth for all those pleasing him.”
This announcement made by the angel 2000 years ago is without doubt the most important announcement ever made – the proclamation of the birth of the Saviour of mankind.
It is at this time of the year that we commemorate and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ the Son of God.
All the carols we sing, all the gifts and presents we give and receive, all the holiday celebrations that happen around Christmas, it’s all centred around the birth of the Saviour, Jesus Christ.
John 3:16 (ESV) For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
God sent His Son Jesus into the world to save the people of the world.
Where did it all go wrong – why do people need to be saved?
It all began in the Garden of Eden at the time of creation, when Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command, and the whole of the human race was disconnected from God and plunged into a state of being spiritually lost.
The Bible tells us that it is our sins that separate us from God (Isaiah 59:2).
Furthermore, we are told that all have sinned and fall short of God’s standard.
Romans 3:23 (NLT) For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.
That’s the bad news!
But it doesn’t stop there – there is Good News!
Romans 6:23 (NLT) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
God, in His amazing mercy and grace sent His only Son as Saviour of the world.
Everyone had become spiritually lost and separated from God. So God provide the solution by sending His only Son.
Matthew 1:18–21 (NLT) This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph, to whom she was engaged, was a righteous man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly. 20 As he considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream. “Joseph, son of David,” the angel said, “do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife. For the Child within her was conceived by the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will have a Son, and you are to name Him Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”
The songwriter who wrote the hymn called “Amazing grace” said:
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me …”
It is the sound of the announcement of the Saviour’s birth that has been repeated again and again over the years that causes people to be saved.
We call it “the preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” - the Good News of Jesus’ birth, His sacrificial death and His subsequent resurrection.
Jesus Christ Himself stated that people don’t get to heaven by their own efforts.
John 3:3,7 (NCV) Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot be in God’s kingdom.” … Don’t be surprised when I tell you, ‘You must all be born again.’
A person is born again from the moment when they receive Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Saviour.
John 1:11–12 (HCSB) He (Christ) came to His own, and His own people did not receive Him. 12 But to all who did receive Him, He gave them the right to be children of God, to those who believe in His name.
Have you received Jesus Christ yet?
“Heavenly Father, I thank You that You sent Your Son Jesus Christ into the World to save me. I recognise that I have broken Your commandments, and that I cannot save myself by my own good deeds. Lord Jesus, I thank You that You have taken the punishment for my sins by dying on the cross. I make a decision now to surrender my whole life to You and everything that I have. I receive You as my personal Lord and Saviour. I thank You that I am now forgiven, and that I am born again. Please lead me and guide me and show me Your plan for my life. Help me to be strong so that I can live according to Your purpose and Your rules for my life. In Jesus’ Name, amen. “