Christmas is a celebration, a date on the calendar, an ideal, a belief, a holiday, a birthday, and a sacred event. Say the word “Christmas” to 100 people and you’ll stir up in them a variety of images and feelings including: joy, love, peace, hope, music, family, gifts, food, snow, candy canes, decorate, preparation, lights, music, Santa Claus, bells, star, candles, vacation, caroling, sleigh, and the Christ child. Before reading the quotes containing these words, Google “Christmas” in your own mind and see what hits you get.
“The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.”
— Bible, Mark 1:3
“You can give without loving, but you can not love without giving.”
— John MacArthur
“Next to a circus there ain’t nothing that packs up and tears out faster than the Christmas spirit.”
— Kin Hubbard (1868-1930)
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace!
Where there is hatred let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
— Saint Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), “Prayer of St Francis”
O, star of wonder, star of might,
Star with royal beauty bright,
Westward leading, still proceeding,
Guide us to thy perfect light.
— Chorus: “We Three Kings”
O candy cane, O candy cane, You’re minty and delightful!
O candy cane, O candy cane, I love you, every biteful.
Your tasty flavor is so sweet.
Your handle makes you fun to eat.
O candy cane, O candy cane, I love your stripes and flavor!
— Sung to the tune of “O Christmas Tree”
“There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it.”
— Edith Wharton (1862-1937)
“The act of nutrition is not a purely physiological event… The family meal is a formality that cultivates in us… a capacity for sharing, generosity, thoughtfulness, a talent for civilized conversation.”
— Francine Du Plessix Gray
“A good example is like a bell that calls many to church.”
— Danish Proverb
“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when my mother took me to see him in a department store, and he asked for my autograph.”
— Shirley Temple (1928- )
“If Beethoven had been killed in a plane crash at the age of 22, it would have changed the history of music… and of aviation.”
— Tom Stoppard (1937- )
“Next to theology I give to music the highest place and honor. And we see how David and all the saints have wrought their godly thoughts into verse, rhyme, and song.”
— Martin Luther
Amidst the many sights, sounds, smells and feelings of Christmas, I’m thankful that many people all over the world still make room for Jesus.
“And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.
“Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
“Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.’ And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!’
“So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 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. 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. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.”
— Bible, Luke 2:1-20
© Copyright December 2008, Clancy Cross. All rights reserved.
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