HOLYDAYS VS. HOLIDAYS
IN LIGHT OF ALL THE CONTROVERSY,
I HAVE ONE QUESTION: HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF THE.... drop the "y" and change it to "i" rule?
Hello Beloved.. Happy Holidays!
Looking back, there has never been a time, when I did not understand that Thanksgiving and Christmas were holy-days.
As a matter of fact, without The LORD providing the events and circumstances to create them, I knew there wouldn't even be an annual celebration!
Why, the brightest highlights of the holy-days season were provided by the Church: Hymns of great praise and sermons on having thankful hearts, and Thanksgiving dinners for the poor, the sick, the lonely and the lost, were provided by the Women's Ministry. Then immediately came rehearsals for Christmas Pageants, bright and cheery clothing, caroling parties with freezing hands and noses, but ending with fellowship, fun, and hot cocoa with marshmallows!
The men erecting the life-sized Nativity Display outdoors, Chorus/Choir/Congregation singing Christmas Hymns, the exchanging of gifts in Sunday School, the hanging of wreaths and the lighting of advent candles, the reading - and re-enacting - of the Birth of The Christ Child on Christmas Eve! Refreshments and fellowship in the basement afterwards. There was so much love!
At home, the best of everything was brought out - it was a Festival of Lights - to honor THE LIGHT, JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD, COMING INTO THE WORLD! Everything glistened and glittered, and everyone excitedly held secrets about what presents they had bought/made for the others, wrapped and hidden all over the house! It was a time when everyone's attention was focused on what present they might give to others
Dad would take us out to his inheritance - multiple sprawling acres of majestic pine trees - and as the moonlight fell softly on the snow, in a reverent hush, one tree was felled, to be taken home and decorated in honor of Jesus' Birthday. The air was frosted, and the 2' snow drifts crunched when we stepped, but it was the sheer beauty of the experience always left me breathless and wide-eyed.
Meanwhile, at school, right up until the THANKSGIVING BREAK, the History teachers had the children in every grade dressing-up and re-enacting the First Thanksgiving (1621), and telling us how America is so thankful to the Indians for their wisdom in growing corn, and then, teaching white man to do the same! (You can bet I was grateful - because I had white & Indian blood running in my own veins!) The music teachers had us singing "Over the river and thro' the woods to Grandmother's house we go" for the whole assembly. Then, the following Monday, was the first day of Buck Season. Hunters poured into the woods, and bright orange vests were everywhere! Back to school, the next day, and we were swept into a joyful parade of Christmas caroling, decorating, Christmas arts& crafts, staging plays and exchanging gifts. But the Nativity Display was still a part of our schooling back then.......Sigh''' .. it was just simply wonderful, how the majority of people were kinder and more thoughtful, with their hearts toward Jesus, in those holy-days. When people shouted "Happy Holidays!" from the street corners, when you were waiting for the light to change, everyone knew it meant Happy Holy Days.
Of course, everybody also knew that on Christmas Eve SAINT NICHOLAS - or Santa - would come to visit you, provided you had behaved throughout the year. There was no doubt in my mind, that God had told him where to go, and then gave him power to do it - how else could he do it so fast, all around the world, without making mistakes?
But the most important part of Christmas Eve was being raised up to place the star with the long tail onto the tree, after reading the Christmas Story and singing Away in a Manger. Each year, we children would take turns (after reaching age 6), in reading that true Christmas Story from the Holy Bible. To this day, the Christmas when I was six, and got to read it for the first time, remains my all-time favorite Christmas - even better than when my husband and I sang as Angels in a 20' living Christmas tree at church!
Back then, it was far more exciting to see the other people receive your gifts, than to get one yourself, and big or small, or none at all, you were still genuinely thankful to share Christmas with all the family and friends and visitors. Laughter tinkled from their lips, like the beautiful bells hanging atop the door!
And even when Christmas Day fell on a Sunday, we gladly abandoned toys and stockings and wrapping paper to go worship the REASON for our wonderful celebrations. JOY WAS TRULY UNSPEAKABLE IN THE HEARTS AND ON THE FACES OF THE PREACHER AND THE WHOLE CONGREGATION! EVERYBODY UNDERSTOOD THAT DECEMBER 25TH WAS NOT THE ACTUAL BIRTH DATE OF JESUS - RATHER, THE DATE THE CATHOLIC CHURCH HAD CHOSEN TO CELEBRATE HIS BIRTH,. BY TAKING THE EVIL PAGAN CELEBRATIONS AND TURNING THEM FOR GOOD! THAT’S WHAT FATHER GOD DOES, BELOVED - HE USES EVERYTHING FOR OUR GOOD! WE SIMPLY CELEBRATED THE FACT THAT OUR SAVIOUR HAD BEEN BORN!
YOU KNOW, I AM DEEPLY TROUBLED BY THE CHASM BETWEEN BELIEVERS - CAUSED BY THE CELEBRATION OF CHRISTMAS.
SATAN IS THE ONE WHO DIVIDES AND CONQUERS. CHRIST ADDS AND MULTIPLIES.. AND UNITES.
CHRISTMAS IS ONE DAY OUT OF A WHOLE YEAR! THE WHOLE SEASON IS APPROXIMATELY 40 DAYS.. HOW? CAN SOME PEOPLE BE FILLED WITH SUCH RANCOR, AT A TIME WHEN OTHERS ARE OVERFLOWING WITH LOVE AND JOY IN THE CELEBRATION OF THE BIRTH OF THEIR SAVIOR? HOW?
I'VE GOT NEWS FOR YOU, BELOVED.. IT WAS EXACTLY THE SAME WAY WHEN JESUS WAS BORN! IT WAS NOT A PRETTY TIME THEN EITHER. PAGAN CUSTOMS ALWAYS INFILTRATE THE CHURCH, BELOVED - IT IS IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO - WE LIVE IN A PAGAN WORLD!
WE DON'T HATE THEM - SO WHY? DO WE HATE EACH OTHER? WHY?
I continued in those Christ-Centered-traditions myself, raising my own children in the 70's and 80‘s. And I never let go of what was good and true and noble. I explained to them that the word HOLIDAY, was just another of those words, where you change "Y" to "I" to make it something "new". Now, praise-be-to-God, they are raising their own children, in the same knowledge!
I am a firm believer in Proverbs 22:6 .. in training your children, in the ways of the LORD. Training, unlike teaching, is done by rigorous repetitions, and by BEING THE EXAMPLE YOURSELF.
It is a task assigned to parents, and we will all stand accountable before The LORD one day, for what we did - and did not - teach our children to do.
Therefore, Beloved, I wholeheartedly agree with King Solomon...this is GOOD ADVICE!
I hope you all take it - and receive it - with the love, in which it is given!
Here is wishing you, one and all, the Most-Glorious Christmas, you have ever known!
TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOREVER AND EVER, AMEN!
© 2008 Rhonda S. Galizia,
Scribe Unto The LORD
All Rights reserved By Law.
Histories of Christmas (LINK)
Beloved, I did not learn the histories of Christmas myself, until much later in my life.
And when I did, I was stunned; it made me sick, and it threw me for a loop for awhile.
But the LORD says we are to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. In other words, what is thought of as sin to one saint, to another saint is the conviction of his/her freedom in Christ to do so, without any guilt. The Word simply cautions us that if we believe it is sin, and still do it,- - then it is accounted to us AS sin. That is some serious instruction!
After much time spent before the LORD - time spent wrestling with whether or not to continue my own celebration of Christmas - I was finally convicted by the words of St. Paul in Romans 14:5-6
To me, the celebration of Christmas has always been about Christ in my heart.- -
The American "Santa" or "saint" Clause was just an imaginery but beautiful person created by Hadden Sundblum, who ironically embodied all the good qualities of Christ in him!
Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Gentleness, Kindness, Meekness, and Self-Control.
Principles of Conscience
1 Now accept the one who is weak in faith, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions. 2 One person has faith that he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats vegetables only. 3 The one who eats is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat, and the one who does not eat is not to judge the one who eats, for God has accepted him. 4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
5 One person regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind. 6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God. 7 For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; 8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. 9 For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
IN THE END, BELOVED..
Whatever you do,
in word or deed,
do it all in the name
of the Lord Jesus Christ
giving thanks through Him
to God the Father.
Yea, 'tis the season
When too many shall confuse
busy-ness for service.
Lay down your burden
'Cast all your cares upon Him'
Jesus does the caring for you.
at His beautiful feet
Ponder in your heart
The presence of the
Living GOD, in your own life!
Lean in, and listen...
Hear, His sweet, still voice
Give praise and adoration
Never forget that Christmas
...is in your heart
Love always, Rhonda
Love one another.
See that no one
renders evil for evil
pursue what is good
both for yourselves
and for all.
pray without ceasing,
in everything give thanks;
for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus
AND FINALLY, BELOVED
You are our letter,
written in our hearts,
known and read by all men;
being manifested that you are a letter of Christ,
cared for by us,
written not with ink
but with the Spirit
of the living God,
not on tablets of stone
but on tablets of human hearts.
we have through Christ toward God.
Not that we
to consider anything
as coming from ourselves,
but our adequacy
is from God,
who also made us
adequate as servants
of a new covenant,
not of the letter [the Law]
but of the Spirit;
for the letter kills,
but the Spirit
2 Corinthians 3:2-