Celebrating the Advent/Christmas Season

Most Christians are familiar with the seasonal motto “Jesus is the reason for the season.”  But it seems that with all the holiday events, shopping, and entertaining that we too often forget to take time to worship and celebrate Christ. There are a few things that we can do during this season that that keep the meaning of Christmas alive in our hearts. I would like to share them with you and maybe they will help you and your family keep Jesus as the center of your holiday celebration.

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Advent: Anticipating Christ

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14 NKJV).

The Incarnation of the Eternal Word – Jesus Christ – is the great redemptive miracle of the Christian faith.  The union of humanity and divinity in the person of Jesus means that his crucifixion and resurrection have defeated the power of sin and death and brings the promise of eternal life to all who believe. This redemptive event is most often associated with the celebration of Christmas. However, in the last century the celebration of Christmas has lost its Christological focus. So, the challenge before us is to discover, or rediscover, ways by which the church can once again focus its worship on this wonderful event.

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The Altar of Yahweh Yireh

The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord who had appeared to him. Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to the Lord and called upon the name of the Lord (Genesis 12:7-8).

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The Sacred Seasons

He shall speak words against the Most High, shall wear out the holy ones of the Most High, and shall attempt to change the sacred seasons and the law; and they shall be given into his power for a time, two times, and half a time (Daniel 7:25 NRSV).

In 586 BC, the Babylonian army destroyed Jerusalem and exiled the Jews to the environs of Babylon. For seventy years the Jews lived in exile. Even in exile the war continued. In his war against the saints of God, the Babylonian king sought to change the times which were established by God as holy days for His people.  In doing so the the king robbed God’s people of their spiritual heritage and promise. The Babylonian king was trying to transform the people of Israel into Babylonians.

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