Jesus is Better Than Santa

IMG_5488Santa lives at the North Pole; Jesus is everywhere.

Santa rides in a sleigh; Jesus rides on the wind and walks on the water.

Santa comes but once a year; Jesus is an ever present help.

Santa comes down your chimney uninvited; Jesus stands at your door and knocks.

Santa makes you stand in line to see him; Jesus is as close as the mention of His name.

Santa lets you sit on his lap; Jesus lets you rest in His arms.

Santa asks, “Little boy, little girl, what is your name?” Jesus knew our names before we did.

Santa has a belly like a bowl full of jelly; Jesus has a heart full of love.

Santa offers “Ho,ho,ho”; Jesus offers health, help, and hope.

Santa says “You better not cry”; Jesus says, “Cast all your cares on me for I care for you.”

Santa’s little helpers make toys; Jesus makes new lives, mends hearts, repairs broken homes.

Santa may make you chuckle; Jesus gives you joy.

Santa puts gifts under your tree; Jesus became our gift and died on the tree.

There’s really no comparison.

Jesus is the reason for the season.

(C) Rev. Betty A Beach-Connell  2018

The Twelve Days of Christmas

According to folklore, the song “The 12 Days of Christmas was written to help young believers learn about their faith. Although no evidence proves that claim, some say the popular carol contains these codes:

The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus Christ.

Two turtle doves are the Old and New Testaments.

Three French hens stand for faith, hope and love.

The four calling birds are the four gospels.

The five golden rings are the Law: the first five books of the Old Testament.

The six geese a-laying represent the six days of creation.

Seven swans a-swimming represent the gifts of the Holy Spirit: prophecy, serving, teaching, exhortation, contribution, leadership and mercy.

The eight maids a-milking are Jesus’ eight Beatitudes.

Nine ladies dancing are the fruits of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

The 10 lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.

The 11 pipers piping stand for the 11 faithful disciples.

The 12 drummers drumming symbolize the 12 statements of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.1224171810

 

The Song

The Song

book music music book musical notes
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

“Serve [worship] the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing.” Psalm 100:2

 

Songs, music, convey a message that can be understood through no other media. Our hymnals contain hymns which are poems set to music. For each hymn you will find “Words by…and Music by…and the year it was composed. In our Bibles the largest collections of poems, which were set to music and sung by the Israelites, is the Book of Psalms, each identified as written by David, Asaph or the Sons of Korah.

The Psalmist writes, “Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart sad? Now I am deeply discouraged, but I will remember you…” (42:5) He sang his song. Mary sang a song of praise because she knew her baby was a gift from God. Her soul sang His praises, even though there was great controversy swirling about her. (Luke 1:46ff) Zechariah, being filled with the Spirit sang praises to God on the birth of his son, John the Baptist who was destined to prepare the way of the Lord. (Luke 1:67ff) The angels sang and filled the sky with song as one of them was informing the shepherds of the birth of the Christ child. (Luke 2:14) And, Simeon sang a song even as he knew his death was imminent. His soul was glad because he had seen the savior of the world. (Luke 2:29ff)

You and I can sing a new song in the midst of any situation. Whatever is happening in your life, you too, can sing a song, because no matter what, Jesus is with you. We celebrate His birth over and over again because we need the reminder that through Jesus, our God came to earth that we might live a life abundant. The baby Jesus is the promise of God that He will even sacrifice Himself that you might live. Now that is something to sing about!

As you sing the Christmas carols this year, allow your heart to take in the love that God has for you. If you do, you will brighten the corner where you are and your soul will emanate His presence. As the stable was aglow, even though it was devoid of earthly light, so too will the darkness fade away and you will walk in a halo of light that will enlighten your path.

“He is born, the holy Child, play the oboe and bagpipes merrily!

He is born, the holy Child, sing we all the Savior mild.”

He is Born—Words Trad. 19th cent. French carol Anon

Music 18th cent. French carol; harm. By Carlton R. Young, 1988

United Methodist Hymnal, pg. 228

Dear Baby Jesus, God my Father, Holy Spirit, fill my cup to overflowing with your love. Let me look upon all you have created with the same eyes of love that I look upon the Baby lying in the cradle.  In Jesus’ name I pray. AMEN

Luke 1:46ff   Luke 1:67ff   Luke 2:14   Luke 2:29ff

The Heart of Christmas

The Heart of Christmas

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“Let the little children come to me…” (Mark 10:14)

I can’t help but think about the mothers, fathers and children huddled at the border of the United States. Also, I think of those who have lost their home due to a hurricane or fire and are living in tents. There may be some who are birthing a child at this very moment and they have nowhere to lay their heads. Just like Mary, Joseph and the Baby Jesus.

In my heart I know that God will watch over them. He will take care of them. He will send Angels to call for them and He will supply all their needs. (Ps. 23) He will also protect them in the presence of their enemies. He will bring all the little children to Him. Remember how Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me.” (Mark 10:14) It is for sure and for certain that the Word of God is true and He stands behind His promises.

As Christmas approaches I pray that all believers will unite in prayer for all the little children of the world. May these children and youth bring a revival of peace and joy and unity to the world! May a calm come over the governments and give them a new heart towards peace.

Lord, you know we can’t go on much longer the way we are. People are angry, frustrated, and even confused. They are listening to false doctrine and being led astray down a dark and dead end path. There may be only one way and I shudder to think about it. Save us Lord. Turn our hearts toward You and Your precepts. Help us to remember Your command to love one another as You have loved us before there is no other way, but to start all over again as with Noah (Genesis 6-9) and Sodom and Gomorrah. (Genesis 19:24/Isaiah 1:9/Romans 9:29)

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me. Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be. With God our creator, children all are we. Let us walk with each other in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now. With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow; To take each moment and live each moment is peace eternally; Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

Words & Music by Sy Miller & Jill Jackson © 1955

Wishing you one and all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

(C) Rev. Betty A Beach-Connell  2018

 

The Word

 

..The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” John 1:1

 

On December 25 Christians around the world will gather to celebrate Jesus’ birth. Joyful carols, special liturgies, brightly wrapped gifts, festive foods characterize the day we call Christmas. But, why do we do all this? What is behind the day” Do we really know the reason for the season? Or is it just about presents and party?

The story is about the “Word that became flesh and dwelt among us.” (John 1:14) The Word was born in a stable, among the animals, to a mother named Mary. This is a story that can only be received by faith, therefore, it is often disputed and overlooked. John describes the Word as being God who came in the flesh to save all us sinners from the fear of death. And the Word was named Jesus.

Jesus was born to die, just as all of us are, but His death was a death unto life. However, this is a part of the story for another time. At this time, let us concentrate on the true meaning of Christmas. How can you and I wrap our finite minds around such an infinite happening? It is totally impossible unless one believes and they put that belief into action through faith.

In a manger bed of straw lies a beautiful baby boy who has ten fingers and ten toes just like any one of our babies. He lies there under the loving gaze of Mary, his mother and Joseph, the one whom God chose to be his earthly father. He is surrounded by the animals in a stable that had no light, however, glory shown all around as though someone had turned on the flood lights. The angels sang, the earth was still, warring stopped and peace had come. He lie there in the silence of pure love. That little baby, who lies in the straw, was God in the flesh.

May there be many more who come to believe this Christmas. For the real message of Christmas is found in believing that Jesus Christ was God, who was born in human flesh, to take away the sins of the world and release us from the fear of death. Now mind you, He did not come to abolish death, but only the fear of death. We are all born and we all die, but in dying we are brought to Eternal Life in which we live forever with Christ—if we believe.

Away in a manger, no crib for a bed, the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head. The stars in the sky looked down where he lay, the little Lord Jesus asleep on the hay.

The cattle are lowing, the baby awakes, but little Lord Jesus no crying he makes; I love thee, Lord Jesus, look down from the sky and stay by my cradle till morning is nigh.

Be near me, Lord Jesus I ask thee to stay close by me forever, and love me, I pray, bless all the dear children in thy tender care, and fit us for heaven to live with thee there.

Away in a Manger   Words: Anon (Luke 2:7)

Music: James R Murray, 1887

United Methodist Hymnal, pg. 217

Dear Lord, I believe. My belief has transformed my life. Thank you for the indescribable gift of Christmas. In the precious name of Jesus, I pray. AMEN

 

Hebrews 2:14   John 1:14   Romans 8:3   I Timothy 1:10

(C) Rev. Betty A Beach-Connell  2018