Understand Easter to Understand Christmas

Understand Easter to Understand Christmas

In a world growing more secular by the day there seems to be a serious decline in the understanding of what makes Easter so significant. A quick Google search about the “facts” of Easter reveals stunning statistics on how many chocolate eggs are consumed, how much fake grass is purchased and how many dollars are spent on baskets and bunnies. But hiding behind the commercialized accounting of Easter are real disturbing numbers about Easter itself. A 2014 survey by the Bible Society reveals that only one in four school-aged children can explain Easter. In fact, 71 percent of parents with children ages 2-16 did not even think their children had ever read, seen or heard the story of Easter. PerhapsRead more

Christmas Connection with the Dead

Christmas Connection with the Dead

Many limit the Christmas connection with the dead as merely something from the imagination of Charles Dickens. As Scrooge is haunted by Marley he encounters many of the dead from his family and youth – and that has a huge connection to all that was sacred to those who celebrated the ancient Christmas. Halloween in many parts of the world is actually a celebration of two or three days. There is All Hallow’s Eve (Halloween), Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), and Dia de los Santos (Day of the Saints). Some Christians mistaken these days as a scary or even an evil connection to Satan. This is a false notion. Fear and faith are polar opposites and theseRead more

Candlemas

Candlemas

There are 327 days remaining until Christmas in our countdown but on this day we actually celebrate a day reflective of the fact that Christmas was 40 days ago. This day is known as Candlemas. For many, the thinking of this day as a Christian celebration is natural as many Christian denominations mark this as the day the Christ was presented at the Temple. But it must be remembered that this tradition of Candlemas is not Christian in origin at all — it is Jewish. After all, Christ was a Jew. Joseph was a Jew. Mary was a Jew. At this point in the Christ Child’s life only a few had an idea of his true paternity. Most assumed heRead more

Book Review: The Midwife of Bethlehem

Book Review: The Midwife of Bethlehem

For many the story of the Nativity is told simply enough in the 2nd Chapter of Luke in the New Testament. But lacking in that telling are illustrations that children love to see when hearing a story. Also missing is an eye-witness account of events that help translate feelings of what transpired. A new children’s book by Shad Driggs titled The Midwife of Bethlehem attempts to bridge those gaps. As with all children’s books, the adult reader has to get past what is known in a common story. The Nativity is a common story. The Midwife of Bethlehem is a fictional accounting of that story. So it feels a little odd to read a story that quotes scripture but straysRead more

What Thanksgiving Has to Do with Christmas

What Thanksgiving Has to Do with Christmas

There are complaints aplenty out there about how Christmas has stolen time and appreciation from Thanksgiving. Those who cry foul by claiming “Christmas creep” miss the larger lessons of history — and they fail to really see the absurdity of their complaints when compared to the worldwide stage. (See this epic rant and compare it to THIS epic rant). After all, in the UK their annual early-November tradition of Christmas is to showcase and celebrate the Christmas advertisements launched by English department stores. The ads are anticipated as greatly there as Santa Claus is at the end of the Thanksgiving Day parade in New York. But Christmas commercials in the USA are getting hammered for their mere presence and areRead more

The Real First Christmas

The Real First Christmas

By Jeff Westover There is a saying common among Christian believers: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” This saying speaks to the eternal nature of the soul and that thought is at the very center of Christmas. In countries around the world Christmas is observed with diverse tradition. There are family gatherings, parades, secret gift giving, church services, prayers, parties and sometimes even tokens of shame for the naughty. There are as many ways to say Merry Christmas! as there are ways to actually observe Christmas. There are several elements of the season that mislead us in defining the day. Santa Claus, a beloved figure with a rich historyRead more

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