What's Christmas?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by gekko, Dec 23, 2006.

  1. gekko

    gekko
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    No really.

    what is this whole Christmas season about?

    please share your thoughts.

    what is the "real" meaning of Christmas? (Christ - mas or - Christ 'festival')

    is it Christ's birth? if it's Christ's birth - why the presents and christmas tree's and all that?

    i'm doing much research - i need your input. thank you
     
  2. El_Guero

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    It is the celebration of the birth of the King.
     
  3. Helen

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    Historically? Christmas is when the Magoi visited the Child. It may also be the date of Mary's conception.

    For us, now? It's an annual reminder of God with us -- of His love for us and even the reality of Him. As much as the world tries to shut Him out and make it a 'winter wonderland' festival, they can't. Even more than Easter/Resurrection Sunday, Christmas is the time when people are reminded rather constantly of 'the reason for the season.'
     
  4. BobRyan

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    Christmas is one of the greatest evangelistic tools in the hands of Christians that could be imagined. We get to re-tell the story of the birth of Christ and to explain why that is significant on public TV special community events etc etc.

    What a great deal!!

    I know that it has pagan origins in terms of customs and the date of Dec 25 etc -- but let's face -- that is not what gets rehearsed. We get to go to outstanding Christmas plays and programs where people in the community enter churches to see these awesome presentations in music and drama depicting the birth of Christ and explaining it's importance to the world.

    I love it!

    in Christ,

    Bob
     
  5. gekko

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    well... historically the christian aspect of "Christmas" or 'saturnalia' or 'yule' or whatever you want to call it... didn't come into play until after 300AD.
    ---

    but anyways... in my point of view - i don't care when you "celebrate" or "recognize" the birth of Christ.

    my question is... why the presents? because the magi brought presents to Jesus? well - then my question is - why, if it's Christ's birth, are you giving presents to everyone BUT Christ? baffles me..

    and the christmas tree... i don't mind tree's in people's houses... it's a plant.. plants are nice.. why decorate it though? because it represents Jesus' light? we all know that the christmas tree is a christianization of an ungodly ritual. why have an ungodly foundation then title it with "Jesus" and all is well... baffles me.

    'reason for the season' eh. hmm. this baffles me as well...

    if Jesus' birth etc is the 'reason for the season' -- again - why the decorated tree's? why the giving of gifts to people when it's not their birthday? why the lights? why tell your kids it's Jesus' birth when we don't know the date of his birth?

    why is the big question for me.

    what is the biggest thing you look forward to during the Christmas season?
    be honest... is it family? gifts (whether receiving or giving)? is it Christ's birth?

    you mean to tell me that Jesus' birth is the biggest thing you look forward to during the Christmas season? somehow i find that quite unbelievable -- but if it is - good on ya and praise the Lord.

    but in my opinion - i don't think people look forward to 'celebrating' Jesus' birth... ---

    hmm. what're your thoughts?
     
  6. Helen

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    gekko, the idea that Christmas started with Saturnalia is one of the biggest 'urban legends' ever propagated. Saturnalia was the harvest festival and never extended to late December. It was more in line with our Thanksgiving.

    Hannukah is the closest celebration to Christmas which predates Christ. And in either the third or fourth century a celebration was established regarding the 'never-dying sun' or something like that, which was to celebrate the 'return of the sun.' It was not on the calendars before that date.

    The very name of Christ is in Christmas, and unless that word itself is forgotten, the 'reason for the season' is there everytime someone says "Merry Christmas".

    The Christmas tree is not necessarily pagan either. http://www.christmasarchives.com/trees.html

    I love the celebration of Christmas. I love being able to send cards talking about the Lord to friends and relatives. I love caroling from house to house. And yes, I love the hot chocolate and family and giving gifts. I love the way people smile more in stores and the way people tend to remember others more at this time of year. I love our family tradition of an absolutely quiet Christmas eve with candles and carols we sing and the Christmas story from the Bible. I love the smell in the kitchen as I bake special breads and goodies for friends and neighbors.

    And then, when the festivities are over, I also love the peace and quiet again...

    Festivals were ordained by God for the ancient theocracy of Israel. We also have ours. We needn't be ashamed or apologetic about them -- especially when they are Christ-centered.
     
  7. gekko

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    i never said it did... anyways. you know what i meant.
    -----

    that link - only says dates of like... 1600's... and 12th century and all that... umm. look a little more into where the concept of the 'christmas tree' came from - and then come back with more of a truthful foundation of the origin. sorry.

    why can't we recognize Jesus' birth... without all these distractions of decorated tree's and gifts and family and all that? share the story yes... but why do we need to call it 'Christmas' and why all the hubub of distractions from God?

    the main focus even for you isn't Christ... look at what you typed... maybe three references about sharing Christ... talking to friends and family - caroling - and the story...

    the rest... was alot more than that... and not focused on God...
    ---

    why can't we just leave everything out - and focus on the recognition of Jesus' birth and the significance thereof. leave everything out.... the decorated tree's... the gifts... and have a family time of recognition of the birth of Jesus?

    or are we all just too selfish for that?
     
  8. Melanie

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    Well, for me .....it is off to church tonight for Midnight Mass to celebrate the Redeemer of Mankind birth...it is saying the rosary and singing carols in a wee church filled to the gunnels with hot sticky happy people...

    it is taking 3 old ladies to possibly their last Christmas Midnight Mass because who knows what the New Year will bring....

    it is having lunch with the family and giving gifts and being happy together, giving thanks to our Redeemer for having the opportunity to be all in one place......

    it is always hot and humid in fecund Brisbane....the poinsianna in bloom, frangipanni everywhere,bouganvilliae a riotous colour cascade, the promise of an electrical storm......

    it is one of the 2 highlights of the Year, the other being Easter......
     
  9. Gershom

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    If trees distract you, then don't have one. If baking cookies and sending cards to family distract you, then don't do it. Quit belly-aching about other people's liberty and conscience to do these things with the insinuation that they cannot do them without being distracted from focusing on the Lord.
     
  10. Claudia_T

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    I agree with that... sort of. I think why not have a Christmas Tree at church and everyone put money there as donations to give for spreading the Gospel. And give gifts but things like Religious books to help others get closer to God. Nothing wrong with caroling and singing about Christ. Why not make a Christmas dinner and invite the poor to share in it... or invite a non-Christian and bring the conversation around somehow to the birth of Christ and the Gospel message?

    Why not do the same traditions but instead make the traditions focus on Christ?

    ....and I do not think there is anything wrong with calling it Christmas.

    I believe it is the motivation that counts with God. No reason to waste a bunch of money during this season, needlessly. But it would be nearly impossible and not even good to waste this opportunity to spread the Gospel. Its the time of year when people out there who normally wouldnt think about God to suddenly have their minds thinking on the birth of Christ, which gives the Church and us as individuals a great opportunity for telling them more about Christ and the Gospel message.

    Think about Jesus Himself, and how He used every opportunity, everything around Him, to tell parables and give people lessons about God.

    Claudia
     
    #10 Claudia_T, Dec 24, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 24, 2006
  11. I Am Blessed 24

    I Am Blessed 24
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    Our church and my family have done all of these things this year, but God never said we couldn't enjoy ourselves while doing things for Him.

    In fact, He said, Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, [so let him give]; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
    2Corinthians 9:7

    and

    A merry heart doeth good [like] a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
    Proverbs 17:22

    The word Christmas brings Christ to mind, even in the lost world. That's why many stores are changing Merry Christmas to Happy Holidays.

    I know when people drive by our home and see our lighted Nativity Scene on the lawn, they can't help but realize the 'reason for the season'.

    Yes, I know the wise men were not there at Jesus' birth and yes, I know there was a heavenly host (which is not included in my Nativity), but it still gets through to the lost world because they don't know these things.

    Jesus gave us the greatest gift of all and set us an example of giving to others...
     
  12. Claudia_T

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    I agree IAmBlessed :)
     
  13. Helen

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    Wow, thanks, gekko! If you have followed my posts at all, then you should know that my entire life is Christ-focused. I have siblings who won't even talk to me because I am the 'religious nut'.

    And so if the time of Christmas is, for our family, a time of fun as well, I guess I'll just have to live with your judgment and be grateful that it is God who actually judges me and not you.
     
  14. gekko

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    woah... no need to get all up tight...

    i'm just asking questions that a friend of mine has... cause he was rejected to join the board for some reason. haha.

    or i could be playing the devil's advocate...

    both..

    i'm just raising questions... and i'm still learning of course... i'm not meaning to judge anybody for what they do.

    so all in all... i mean.. i won't buy gifts for people... i pray that the Lord gives me an opportunity to help the homeless in some way or another... who knows..

    anyways... thanks for all your input. i'll put some thought into it for sure.

    but i still find it rather funny that people get the sudden urge to go cut a tree down (or buy one real/fake) and decorate it... it's quite the nice chuckle year after year :p

    God bless!
     
  15. LeBuick

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    Because we are Christians, does that mean we can't celebrate in a local tradition? You kind of sould like a JW.

    I love the 4th of July and Memorial day also. I buy/receive gifts for birthdays, why not Christmas? This thread reminds me of Jesus discussion regarding the Sabbath. We take things to literal and by doing so, we miss the true intent intended by God;

    Luke 2:13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14) Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (KJV)
     
  16. gekko

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    haha. alot of people say i sound like a JW... and ask if i am a JW...

    not true. :p

    i'm born again. (i may be taking this out of context... but doesn't it say in Jeremiah that the heathen cut down tree's and decorated them?)

    just a thought. anyways.

    God bless!
     
  17. Helen

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    Yes, and those involved in witchcraft use circles. Candles are widely used in the occult. And the Nazis used marching music. Satanism uses the five pointed star. If we start playing this game we won't even be allowed to stay by ourselves and twiddle our thumbs. There is bound to be something wrong with twiddling our thumbs...

    Gekko, there is a freedom in Christ I think you are missing with all your haha's.
     
  18. gekko

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    wow. i actually apologize for judging you... then you go and judge me.

    i tried to lighten the mood (even said "just a thought" considering it is in the bible... jeepers). and you go and darken the mood.

    what's with you. jeepers. calm down. don't have to get all worked up about it.

    and like i said before... i don't care if people have a tree in their house... i don't care if they decorate it... i find it funny is all.

    what freedom in Christ am i missing? i honestly don't know what you mean by this.

    God bless!
     
  19. Gershom

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    They cut down trees and used the wood to carve wooden idols, decorating them with gold or silver - most likely overlayed them with the gold or silver, then stood the idols up, etc. It says don't be afraid of them (the idols, or 'gods' to the heathen) because they cannot speak or do neither evil or good.
     
  20. LeBuick

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    you beat me to it... This is not the same as long as we don't start worshiping the Christmas tree.
     

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