As you read the Christmas story in the gospel and Matthew and Luke, you might notice that our modern day plays and retellings add a few items that are not found in the original source. This has caused some understandable frustration and confusion as many learn about the true story. The sad part is that many people conclude that the whole story is false because Christians have added artistic license or even their own perspectives to the story over the last two thousand years.
Watch this funny reminder of what elements have been added compared to what the original stories say. Be encouraged, the details added for the sake of easy story telling do not change the point of the story. The old story is true, a God man was born to save the world.
Merry Christmas. The old story is true. The peace of God is real.
Christmas isn’t just another cultural religious story made up to make the religious followers happy or convinced that their god is the real god. The story is true. The story has been incorporated into religious services and a lot of artistic license has been granted to holiday pageants and plays, but this doesn’t make the original story false.
The virgin birth was just as unbelievable to the Jewish community as it is for all of us “science minded” people today. Joseph desired to separate from Mary privately so as not to bring her into more public shame. He knew (as did the public) just as well as you and I that a child is not normally conceived outside of normal natural means. Don’t let the festive traditions, ones that were unfamiliar to the people who experienced the birth of Jesus, deceive you into thinking that all of the Christmas tradition was created by followers of the Christian church much later after Jesus was born. We celebrate because the event happened, just as the historic record (as recorded by Matthew and Luke) explains. We personalize the story because we love Him and choose to celebrate his birth and his mission.
The old story is true. The salvation of God is here.
Thanksgiving can be a hard time for many of us. Maybe sad events once occurred during this season. Maybe you don’t enjoy your family or relatives but they will be at Thanksgiving dinner. Maybe your stressed out and you don’t feel very thankful.
In the past year, America has experienced (and is still experiencing) troubling times. Communities seem to be in disarray, people feel marginalized, and it can seem difficult to show honor and love to our neighbor if we don’t agree with them. What a good time to have a holiday to focus our minds and thoughts on thankfulness!
The world may be bad at times, but God is good all of the time. As you think about the goodness of God, an attitude of thankfulness will grow. A spirit of thankfulness can feel hard to keep, but as you abide and think of Him you will find that thankfulness becomes like a close friend.
This Thanksgiving holiday, wherever you go and whomever you’re with, focus on the goodness of God and let thankfulness over flow out of you. A thankful heart produces thankful words which lead to thankful actions which help heal a broken world.