Keeping Christ in Christmas 1: The Christmas Story
I have ecumenical beliefs which means I respect people of all faiths. However, I just want to ask you to take a moment to reflect on this: If December 25th were Buddha’s Birthday, would anyone else take center stage in the celebration? So why is it that Santa Clause has become the star of Christmas? Why don’t we give Christ to Christmas as it is rightfully, ‘birthfully’ his.
Join me this this week as I bring you a special series on “Keeping Christ in Christmas”– from the Christmas Story to the various efforts of writers and artists to keep alive the spirit of Christ in Christmas.
Everyday this week, I will cite some of the ways in which we can keep Christ in Christmas. I will also share with you images of The Nativity- from book-cover illustrations to paintings and sculptures from around the world.
Ways to Keep Christ in Christmas
Source: 10 Ways to Keep Christ in Christmas from About dot Com
1) Give God one very special gift just from you to him:
Let this gift be something personal that no one else needs to know about, and let it be a sacrifice. David said in 2 Samuel 24 that he would not offer a sacrifice to God that cost him nothing.
Maybe your gift to God will be to forgive someone you’ve needed to forgive for a long time. You may discover that you’ve given a gift back to yourself.
Lewis B. Smedes wrote in his book, Forgive and Forget, “When you release the wrongdoer from the wrong, you cut a malignant tumor out of your inner life. You set a prisoner free, but you discover that the real prisoner was yourself.”
Perhaps your gift will be to commit to spending time with God daily. Or maybe there is something God has asked you to give up. Make this your most important gift of the season.
2) Set aside a special time to read the Christmas story in Luke 1:5-56 through 2:1-20:
Consider reading this account with your family and discussing it together.
• The Christmas Story
• More Christmas Bible Verses
The Christmas Story
According to St.Luke
“About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was the governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s hometown, for the census. As a decendant of David he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancee, who was pregnant.
While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped Him in a blanket and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the hostel.
There were shepherds camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”
At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises: “Glory to God in the heavenly heights; Peace to all men and women on earth who please Him.”
As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the shepherds talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the shepherds were impressed.
Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The shepherds returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told!” (Luke 2:1-20).
Here are some illustrated books that retell The Christmas Story
The Christmas Story Book
from The Metropolitan Museum of Art Store
From the Annunciation to the Epiphany, the timeless story of Christ’s birth unfolds in words and images in this joyous holiday offering. In The Christmas Story the poetic words of Matthew and Luke from the King James Bible are gloriously illustrated with medieval and Renaissance masterpieces by the Limbourg Brothers, Gerard David, Hans Memling, and more.
The Christmas Story [Paperback]
Ian Beck (Author)
Ian Beck complements a straightforward retelling of the first Christmas with striking illustrations. Richly bordered pages frame bright, lively scenes, giving the book the feel of an illuminated manuscript (TES Teacher )
Some Product REviews: “Simple, straightforward, great for reading aloud to young children” (Child Education 20041101)
“Beautifully and intricately illustrated . . . Offers a warm and reassuring introduction to the religious meaning behind the festive season.” (Parents News 20051101)
One Special Night:
The Christmas Story Pop-Up Book(Hardback)
Lori C. Froeb, Claudine Gevry (Illustrator)
Bringing to life the story of Jesus’ birth with a one-of-a-kind pop-up book, this edition combines child-friendly text with beautiful artwork and pop-up dioramas.
Christmas Story Jigsaw Book
Simply retold, this book provides a delightful introduction to the birth of Jesus for very young children. Contains four simple yet stunning silver and gold sparkly jigsaw puzzles.
A great present for children just learning to make their first jigsaws.
Top 10 Christmas Stories & Meditations