Monday, December 7, 2009

Remembering The Warmth of Christmas Past – and the sadness of Christmas Present

As Christians, the world over are getting ready to celebrate Christmas and rejoice over the birth of Jesus, we as Americans should also give serious thought and thanks to The Lord's influence on the great American freedoms, among us, that we cherish so much, and which did make this country so great. Out of respect and reverence for our Christian roots, if for no other reason or purpose, As Christians and American's we should have, as our main goal and concern to put Christ back into Christmas and not only that but to make Him apart of our daily lives and the lives of those who control this country. Not only did God give us eternal life, through his Son, he also gave us the greatest country on this earth to live in and also gave us through those first settlers, that landed on Plymouth rock, the Christian principles and laws that have guided this country for so many years. It was those principles that have made this country the greatest on the face of this earth. God has truly blessed and shed His grace on this country. He has been the Rock that has kept this country free for over two hundred years.
As I sat and tried to remember all the Christmas' that took place in the nearly sixty four years, of my life, There are a few things that remain burnt into my mind forever. I will always remember wanting to go to my grandmother Patchett's house to see her Christmas tree. I will always remember how big it always was and how beautiful it was decorated with all those old Christmas bulbs, from years past and the beautiful lights. How they ever got those big tree in the house every year I will never know. But it always made my eyes glow. I will always remember how my grandmother would remember all her grandkids with a small gift and to see her small fingers as she played Christmas carols on her piano, as her small feet barely touched the pedals on the piano as she played “Silent Night”. I know that she is in heaven now singing those same glorious songs.
I will always remember when I was but a very small child in the small village of Harmony, the manger scene at the small Methodist church, where I grew up . That warm feeling that I had whenever I would look at that manger scene and hear the music coming from it. It was beyond all words. I knew, even at that very early age, it was more to Christmas than just toys and candy canes. I was so happy and excited with the toys and gifts, the candy, and many others things, the Christmas lights and all the holly, the turkey beard reefs, and the many other things that would remind you that Christmas was on its way, but it was nothing like the warm feeling that I always got, when I would gaze upon that manger scene and still have every time that I think of that manger scene in front of that little church in Harmony. I was so always so excited and proud to stand on the pulpit of that little church, as a small child, with the other kids and say my Christmas piece and sing those old Christmas Songs. Now that I'm much older (a old clunker) How thankful I am for the greatest gift in the world. I'm also glad and thankful that I was able to pass that same warmth on to my children and they to their children. How thankful that I am after all these years that I can still tell the word through many ways that Our God gave His only Son for us so that if we believed in Him we would have everlasting Life. What a gift! It is the only gift that keeps on giving.
Then I can remember during the later years of my life going to that little country church in Brookview, Maryland where my father has been the pastor for over thirty years, I remember the old Christmas songs that we sang through out those years, the Christmas plays depicting the birth of Christ {that my kids took part in}, passing out of the Christmas cards after the service was over, the bags of candy with apples and oranges. But the most important thing that I will always remember is my mother standing in front of the church and in her beautiful voice would sing: “Oh Beautiful Star of Bethlehem, Shine On! “ She sang many other Christmas songs but As I think about her singing that song, tears will come to my eyes and then I smile because I know where my mother is, With Jesus! Once again there was a warm feeling inside of me that goes beyond all understanding or explaining. Oh! To know Jesus is the most important thing that has ever happen to me in my life or that could happen to you in your life, what warmth, what happiness!
When I visit my grand kids on Christmas day, how exciting to see them with their gifts, to see the
Christmas tree, to smell the pies, and hot coffee. But you have that warmness inside of you when you pull up into their yard and see the Nativity Scene, when you go into the house and see the many ways that a person can find that Christ is there in that house. By the Bibles you can easily see, the memory verses for the month that are on the wall and refrigerator. By the very fact that the kids will stop what they are doing and very quickly tell you what Christmas really means. It is always a warm feeling to me when Christmas is near.
Christmas should be a joyous and thankful time of the year, however, there are more than just the Ebenezer Scrooge's of this world to who try to take the meaning of Christmas away from us. There are a lot of sad parts about Christmas, now days, that brings tears to the true Christian eyes. People going here and there to do their holiday shopping, no longer called Christmas shopping, not once remembering that great gift that was given to us so long ago. They have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. What great gift that God has given us. People have took Christ out of Christmas. A large part of our American society even call Christmas the holidays, They would not dare to say “Merry Christmas”, not even one small mention of Christ. We are no longer allowed to have manger scenes on most government property nor have any thought of that most special day. I believe that it is called political correctness which is a term heard quite often in our country these days. For the most part this nation not only has taken Christ out of Christmas but they have done away with Christmas and now we have the holidays instead. There is holiday gifts, holly, Santa Claus, candy, much liquor, much food, and many other things, but there is no Jesus. Then these same people wonder what is happening to our country. If you are a Bible believing Christian then you know already know: This country has forsaken Jesus Christ the Saviour.  
We now have a President that has gone so far as to say more than once that we are no longer a Christian nation, but we are a nation of Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, Buddhist, and many other religions. He also said that some parts of the Bible are out of date. I would remind our president that although this nation is made up of all these other religions, it was Christians who founded this great nation and it is our Christian roots that have made us so strong and productive since it was founded. Also that great Book was, and still is, a light that guides our way. Most all laws of this land come straight from God's Word. Forever His word is settled in Heaven and is always up to date. His word changes not. It is in that Great Book where we can read of the very first Christmas. It is sad how this country is turning its back on God.
Not only has this nation taken Christ out of Christmas but it has taken Christ out of our schools, our government, and every other place. This nation no longer heeds the commandments given to us in that Great Book. We are fast becoming a godless nation with no thoughts at all about our Christian Roots that started growing that day on Plymouth Rock. We no longer feed our land with the pure raw word of God so that it will flourish. We are feeding it with sin and evil that is causing this nation to promote every evil that is imaginable such as adultery, homosexuality, abortion, and you name it the sin is there. We now have more tares in the land than the good grain. Evil has overtaken this country. People have turned our backs on God. They no longer want him in our schools, court rooms, or government buildings.
What we as Christians should be so thankful for is: We have the greatest gift in the world. We have Jesus and for those of us that believe on him and live by His Word will have everlasting life. What a gift! What a great warm feeling inside to know that you have been given the greatest gift ever. As we celebrate this Christmas Season  let us be thankful for God’s great gift to us, his Son, and remember: Jesus is the reason for the season. There is no other reason for the season.

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