so i share mine here too.
(just adding something extra to the bottom of this post)...
(second edit with correct link details now!)
I share it in love.
Love for you.
Love for the Lord.
Love for the Truths that He has revealed to us through His Word, through prayer and through study.
I ask that as you read these words and the link that the Lord God may speak to your heart
about what is right for your family according to what He wants to reveal (if anything!) to YOU!
I know most of my readers here celebrate Christmas and some of you will know that we have chosen as a family to abstain from it for the past 8 years.
I'm pretty much going to copy and paste what I shared this time last year.
This is NOT a salvation issue or one that we try to blow out of proportion. We firmly believe that many celebrate this occasion unto the Lord and we abstain from it unto the Lord too (see Romans 14:5). We believe there is freedom in the Lord to seek Him and see what it is that He wants us to do. We did do that and in obedience to what He showed us, we choose to not celebrate it on that day. We do usually see our families because that is very important to them. We don't exchange or recieve presents (and believe me when i say our children have more than enough anyway and do not want for a single thing!) One of the best ways I have read it summed up is in this post on Ken Symington's Christian Restoration website which he kindly emailed me the link for recently when I couldn't find it. I especially like Ken's final comments.
It's HERE (TO THE CHRISTIAN RESTORATION SITE) if you would like to read it. Once the home page opens, click on the tab at the top of the page that says 'Studies'. Then scroll down the page until you see a table and click on 'What might God think of Christmas?' It is written by Ken Symmington.
The other article I really appreciated this year is: HERE ON SUSAN'S BLOG.
Basically in a nut shell for us the main reasons we choose to abstain are:
a) There is no where in the Bible that tells us we must do it
b) The early church did not celebrate it
c) It was instituted by man hundreds of years after Jesus died and it was popped over the top of pagan celebrations which joined celebrating the 'son god' and the Son of God on the same day
d) We not want to entangle ourselves with the ways and traditions of the world which this celebration is so deeply entwined with
e) We also could never stand the commercialism of it all
f) We prefer to celebrate the Feasts and awesome celebrations that God DID institute for all of His people rather than ones that man has told us to
g) We have FREEDOM in Christ to choose NOT to observe just like others feel that they have freedom in Him TO observe. It is our personal choice and it is the Lord who sees into our hearts - not men.
You may have your reasons as to why you DO celebrate it and that's fantastic> just like these are so of the reasons that we choose not to.
Please hear where I am coming from on this - I do not share it in ANY WAY TO CONDEMN OTHERS but simply to share our heart and give an idea to those who wonder why we do what we do. Remember that we must each seek the Lord and see what He wants for our families.
So what DO we do around this time of year?
In many ways, it is like other times of the year to us. We make every effort to have Jesus in the foremost of our hearts and minds every day. We enjoy the days Brett has off work spending time together as a family. And we seem to do a fair bit of culling/organsing in anticipation of the year ahead.
Usually just before New Year's Day, we do have a family party day each year to give thanks for His wonderful blessings. We have been planning it and the kids have really enjoyed the planning part. It has games, favourite foods and lots of reflecting over the wonderful goodness God has shown to us with many opportunities for the kids to share their hearts too.
We have really enjoyed looking into the feasts that God did ordain in the Bible for His people which in so many ways not only tell the story of God's hand over Israel but also foreshadow and point to our Saviour so beautifully. This year we had had a focus on Jesus' birth during the Feast of Tabernacles (October) and read the Biblical account in Luke as we remember that He came to 'tabernacle' amongst us (John 1:14).
We love the birth of Jesus because without it, we wouldn't have had a Saviour able to die on a cross for us to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. How incredible it is that He came as a baby laying aside all of His majesty to be humbly born to live and eventually die for us. So we share this story many other times throughout the year with our children so that as they grow older they too will understand what an amazing sacrifice Jesus made for us.
We make 'Thank You' cards to send to family and friends to say thank you for all the love and support they have shown us throughout the year and sometimes include a recap of what has happened in our lives in the past 12 months.
We enjoy the End of Year celebration which our mother's group has and like i shared in another post, we give a simple token family present to each family to say thank you for the love they have shown us throughout the year. This usually takes place in Nov some time. This year we baked small treats (2009).
So they are some of the things that we get up to around this time of year. I do not get offended when people say 'wishing you a merry christmas' or anything like that just like we are thankful when people don't try and force us to do things that we don't choose to do. It's very freeing to live 'to the Lord' in whatever He calls us.
May the Lord, the God of life, love and freedom be with you each and every day
Loads of love,
PS: Found this today which I thought was interesting since I used to believe all of these things about Christmas too. Just kind of highlighted to me that sometimes we go along believing what we are told rather than asking questions and seeking God's truth from His word which we know from 2Tim3:16 is to be used to all teaching in righteousness....
This was taken from HERE.
So, you think you know the story of Christ's birth, right? After all, you've probably watched your children reenact the story of Christ's birth many times during the Christmas pageant at church. For most of us, the story goes something like this: Mary is with child and travels with Joseph to Bethlehem on a donkey for the census - when they get to Bethlehem, the innkeeper turns them away because there's too many people in town - but the innkeeper feels sorry for them and puts them up in a stable - Jesus is born, laid in a manger, and he never even cries - the angels are present and announce His birth to the shepherds in the fields - and finally, three wise men come riding on camels to worship Christ with their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. But are these accepted "facts" really the truth about Christmas?
According to the Bible, our final authority, these "facts" are probably not true for the following reasons:
Mary traveled with Joseph to Bethlehem, but there is no mention of a donkey. She could have ridden in a cart or traveled in the normal mode of her day - walking. If they did have a donkey, it probably would have been used as a pack animal for the 70 - 80 mile long trip. (Luke 2:4-5)
There is no mention of an inn keeper in the Bible - only that there was no room for them at the inn. (Luke 2:7) There was probably no flashing sign that read "No Vacancy," but the Bible doesn't state that Mary and Joseph talk to anyone either to realize that the inn was full.
Jesus could have been born in a cave, a barn, or even outside under the stars. The Bible simply states that he was born, wrapped in swaddling cloths, and laid in a manger. Since mangers are used for animals, chances are He was near some type of livestock when he was born, but not necessarily in a stable. (Luke 2:7)
Mary was in her third trimester when she traveled to Bethlehem, but the Bible does not say that Mary delivered the night she arrived. Jesus' birth occurred "while they were there," which could have been at any time after they arrived. (Luke 2:6)
Two of the first Christmas carols that young children usually learn are "Away in the Manger" and "Silent Night." Although the words and titles to these songs allude to a baby Jesus that didn't cry, the Bible says that Christ was born a man and suffered in the flesh. (1 Peter 4:1) Jesus could have easily cried like most other babies when they are born.
The Bible does not state that the angels were at Jesus' birth, simply that they spoke the good news of His birth to the shepherds in the fields. (Luke 2:9-14)
There is no mention of the number of magi who came to honor Jesus' birth. There were three different gifts mentioned which probably led to the assumption of three wise men. Since the wise men did not arrive until the days of Herod (Matthew 2:1-16), Jesus was probably already two years old. After the magi visited the Christ child, they left by another way (vs. 16) and Herod ordered all the two-year-old boys and younger to be killed in Bethlehem and the surrounding regions.
Was Jesus really born on December 25? Probably not, since the Bible does not state the exact date of His birth. Different methods of determining Jesus' birth date have been attempted; but like the date of His return, no one knows the actual date for sure.