WHAT WILL I DO TO HONOR THE LORD AT CHRISTMAS?
It is a good thing to establish honorable traditions at your family gatherings. You may not be in a position to do so. Maybe your kids are grown and it is hard to get them all together. Perhaps you are single.
Perhaps either one, or both, of your parents are now gone from this life. So either personally, or as a group, these things might help.
We read the Birth narrative of Jesus in Chronological order before the presents are opened, but after the food!
Do a short version if you have little kids, or adults with short attention spans. ( You should be laughing at this spot.)
The long version in the proper order:
Luke 1: 5-80 then Matthew 1:18-25 then Luke 2: 1-39 then Matthew 2: 1-23.
To do the brief version it is:
Luke 1: 26-38 then Matthew 1: 18-25 then Luke 2: 1-20 then Matthew 2: 1-23. I have found that if you practice reading it a few times before you can keep a 4 years old interested for 9. 45 minutes, depending on how many pancakes they had. Put a little zip in the reading, please! Do not bore them with the most exciting book ever written! Lol.
We would sing a few Christmas songs. A max of two verses only.
We would start it all with pray and thanks to God, and that included a prayer done with a review of good things and bad things that happened during the past year.
(Like all great battle plans, have a backup plan if things go sideways. Just don’t make the presents the main thing.)
We also let each person say something about the past year. If that is a 6 year old, well, the reflection will be brief. Give the threatening look to the other, older kids when the youngest is saying stuff that is serious to them, but funny to the rest. You can laugh about it privately later!
We break out the old photo album and let each person in the room tell about the picture. This is always a good thing!
We make a birthday cake for Jesus, since He is the guest of honor, and it is His birthday. We always put one candle on it; but I do not know why. That would be the next year right? (He was actually born in 4 B.C. Ask me about it; and while you are at it, ask me about my grandkids! Is that bumper sticker still available?
We all tell something we like about one or more of the family members present. Once, when the kids were not so amiable towards one another, (because the one got up Christmas morning at 5 a.m. and woke the others up,) we were entertained by a praise of the family dog that would bring a tear to a glass eye!
A Few Fun Facts:
Matthew 2- The wise men narrative- happened at least 3 months and up to two years later. ( 900 miles -Ezra 7:9/ 8:31) When I set the Nativity scene I put the wise men as far away from the manger scene as possible and let the kids know that the wise men visited Jesus when He was a toddler, and not at the manger when Jesus was born, but later, at a house. I still get that look that says, “Really; this is life-shaking information?” And I still get my little feelings hurt over it. Lol. Oh da’ pain!
Nowhere does it say there were 3 wise men; it could have been 50. Unlikely only three took such a dangerous trip. We assume three because there were three gifts. Are we bored yet?
Nowhere does it say they were kings. Nowhere does it say they were from the far east (Orient.) The “East” would be Persia , (Iraq and Afghanistan.) Daniel’s prophecies, given when he lived in this area, in the 600’s B.C., would be well noted by the wise men. They were religiously trained men, not kings.
Were they named Casper, Melchior, and Balthazar? NO. Although I assume they were friendly. Was one a black man? NO. Did they follow a comet or a star to the location in Bethlehem? No. It was the supernatural light called the Shekinah Glory. No natural star could lead to such an exact, small location. Bethlehem had about 1000 people at this time.
When you share about Jesus, that name must be a daily reality to you and if so, they will “catch” the truth of the resurrected Lord as they see Him, presently, in you. Do they see Him in you and me?
Do I walk in the peace the angels were talking about? Do you walk in the peace the angels were talking about? Best gift you can give your family this year is something they will “catch” from you and from me. Be contagious! God bless you my dear brothers and sisters in Christ. JWP
John 14: 27 ” Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives,
do I give to you, let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”