What The Bible Says
“What The Bible Says - Vol. 6 / No. 17”
What The Bible Says
Vol. VI - No. 17 / December 17, 2023
THERE'S MORE TO JESUS THAN A MANGER
Presents. Shopping. Family. Christmas trees. Decorations. Lights. Santa. More shopping.
The Christmas season is upon us. For some this is the best time of the year, full of family and friends and good times. For others Christmas may just mean more on an already crowded schedule. For all of us, however, it can be a time to reflect on some deeper spiritual truths that often go unnoticed. How much thought have you given to Jesus?
During this season we will all hear “Jesus is the reason for the season.” Actually, of course, no one knows when Jesus was born. The Bible doesn’t say. The Gospel of Luke tells us that shepherds were in the field the night of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:8), indicating it probably didn’t happen during one of Israel’s cold and rainy winters. The celebration of Christmas is something not actually found in the New Testament but something begun more than three hundred years later when a pagan festival was “converted” into a “Christian” holiday. Sadly, through the years all sorts of practices and traditions have been hung on it that are far outside the worship described in the New Testament, and now Christmas seems to be more about merchandise and retailing than anything else. Yet it is still a chance to think about Jesus Christ. It is so that He came to this world. In a birth unlike any other God Himself took on flesh and blood and became a human being. Such a thought is incredible. People did come to that manger and worship long ago (Luke 2:8-18).
But what is missing in so much of the Christmas time discussion of Jesus is that Jesus didn’t stay a baby! Cute and cuddly baby Jesus didn’t stay a cute and cuddly baby. He grew up! He left His home in Nazareth. He taught people. He healed people. He spoke the most important words of time. He died for the sins of the world. He rose again. The story of Jesus begins in a manger but it certainly doesn’t end there.
That all gets missed sometimes. There is so much focus on baby Jesus that there seems little time to talk of adult Jesus. But it is adult Jesus that demands our attention. This is the Jesus who taught us how to live, who challenges us to realize we are sinners, who demands we recognize His Lordship in our lives. Grown up Jesus doesn’t provoke the warm “ooh - He’s so cute” that baby Jesus certainly does. Instead He revolutionizes our lives as He challenges us to live differently, to be His disciple.
We’re interested in studying and learning more about that Jesus, aren’t you? Make no mistake about it: we are profoundly grateful for the miracle of Jesus’ virgin birth. That God would come here is astounding and awesome. Yet what is more amazing is what Jesus did here: He died for our sins and arose again as Lord and Christ (Acts 2:22-24). Do you know about that part of Jesus’ life?
We invite you to worship with us. Come and be a part of our Bible classes – there’s classes for adults and kids too! Come and meet other people interested in discovering Christianity as described in the New Testament.
We are simply a church of Christ and that means we just want to do what Jesus, the Head of the church, wants us to do. We want to serve Jesus Christ as Lord, and to do that we know we must focus on more than Jesus in the manger. Can we help you explore and find all the Bible tells us about Jesus? Thanks for thinking about Jesus - and we hope you’ll be interested in learning more about Jesus with us! —Author Unknown
THE ORIGIN OF CHRISTMAS
Would you be shocked to learn the word "Christmas" is not in the Bible? Would it also shock you to learn that the word "Christmas" has no reference to the birth of Christ?
If the word "Christmas" is not found in the Bible and has no reference to the birth of Christ, where did it originate and what does it mean? When we have to resort to a good reliable encyclopedia to find the true origin of Christmas, this ought to tell us something. As far as to the name "Christmas", The Britannica Encyclopedia says, "Liberius gave this reason for having Christmas: 'We have a Mass for every Saint, but there is no Mass for Christ'." From this we can see how the word "Christmas" originated: CHRIST + MASS = CHRISTMAS.
In fact, the birthday of Christ was never celebrated by the apostles or the Christians in the first century. The Encyclopedia of Religion by Fern has this to say: "According to authentic records, no church festival was held in celebration of Christ's birth, until the first half of the fourth century." For over three hundred years after the birth of Christ, His birth was not celebrated.
Can you go to the Scriptures and find the day on which Jesus was born? People say it was December 25 but where is the Scripture that says such? Why, then, do people celebrate Dec. 25 as the day of His birth? Again, we have to go to encyclopedias instead of the Scriptures. The World Book Encyclopedia says, "Bishop Liberious of Rome in 354 A.D. ordered that December 25th be adopted as the birth date of Christ." Why would a Roman Catholic bishop use Dec. 25th of all days? The Lincoln Library of Essential Information can give us the answer: "December 25th was already a festive day for the sun god Mithra and appealed to Christians as an appropriate date to commemorate the birth of Jesus, the 'Light of the World’."
Someone may ask, "What's wrong with celebrating Christ's birthday?" The answer is: The Scriptures nowhere teaches us to commemorate Jesus' birth; much less how to go about it! What the Scriptures do command is for us to commemorate Jesus' death. "For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, ‘Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.’ After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, ‘This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.’" (1 Cor. 11:23-25). Jesus, Himself, commanded us to remember His death but makes no mention of remembering His birth. I ask, dear Reader, which do you faithfully remember: His birth or His death?
Our denominational friends say, with the best of intentions, "Let's put Christ back into Christmas”. However, they need to realize that Christ was never in Christmas. The word itself has nothing to do with His birth. St. Nicholas, reindeer, the Christmas tree, mistletoe, and decorations that are associated with Christ's birthday did not originate from the Holy Scriptures but solely from Roman Catholic decrees and Pagan superstition.
Indeed, why put Christ into something that He did not originate nor command us to celebrate? However, let us imitate the Christians at Troas who gathered upon the first day of the week to remember the Lord's death by partaking of unleavened bread which commemorates Christ's body and drank the fruit of the vine which commemorates Christ blood. (Acts 20:7; Matthew 26:26-28).
Let us be thankful for His willingness to come to this earth and the fact that He was born of woman. But let us never forget that He came to this earth to die and shed His blood that we might have the remission of sins. Let that be what we remember every first day of the week as the Scriptures teach. —E.R. Hall, Jr.
When you choose to be pleasant and positive in the way you treat others, you have also chosen, in most cases, how you are going to be treated by others.
People usually pay little attention to what you say, but they definitely watch what you do.
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--- E.R. Hall, Jr.
SCHEDULE OF SERVICES
For The East Albertville Church Of Christ
4777 U.S. Highway 431
Albertville, AL 35950
Bible Classes …………..….…………… 9:30 AM
Morning Worship ……..…….….……… 10:30 AM
Evening Worship …………………........ 5:00 PM
Bible Classes …………..………........... 7:00 PM
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 8:30 AM
Monday - Saturday
WBSA 93.5 FM/1300 AM ………………………….. 11:15 AM
Website: www. EastAlbertville.org