Saturday, December 24, 2011

Who Owns Christmas? Jesus Christ or Santa Claus?

Illustration of Jesus and Santa. Photo Credit: Jason Berggren.

Who owns Christmas? Jesus Christ or Santa Claus?
This is the thought-;provoking subject of David Frum's article on the Huffington Post: Santa vs. Jesus and it is one of the most engaging articles on the debate of how the "religion" of Santa Claus is misappropriating the religion of Christianity for which Christmas is being celebrated in commemoration of the birth of the founder Jesus Christ our Lord and Messiah.

This is really How the Grinch Stole Christmas!

Of course How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is an allegory of how Santa Claus has stolen the birthday of Jesus Christ written by Dr. Seuss on the commercialization of Christmas and satirizes those who profit from exploiting the holiday.

As we speak, Santa Claus has just left the North Pole for his Christmas Eve journey around the world, his reindeer-powered sleigh loaded with gifts for boys and girls. ...

As much we should appreciate the goodwill and love in the sharing and exchange of Christmas gifts and greetings, we must stop the abuse and misuse of the Christian festival by greedy capitalists and legions of hypocrites whose idolatry is the antithesis of the charity of Jesus Christ.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, aka Orikinla Osinachi.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

"O Holy Night" by David Phelps and A Touching Christmas Story

Oh Holy Night

O Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the Spirit felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees!
Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O Holy Night ,
O night divine!
O night, O Holy Night, O night divine!

A Touching Christmas Story

"And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit."1

"The Doll and a White Rose" by V.A. Bailey

I hurried into the local department store to grab some last minute Christmas gifts. I looked at all the people and grumbled to myself. I would be in here forever and I just had so much to do. Christmas was beginning to become such a drag. I kind of wished that I could just sleep through Christmas. But I hurried the best I could through all the people to the toy department. Once again I mumbled to myself at the prices of all these toys, and wondered if the grandchildren would even play with them.

I found myself in the doll aisle. Out of the corner of my eye I saw a little boy about 5 holding a lovely doll. He kept touching her hair and he held her so gently. I couldn't seem to help myself. I just kept looking over at the little boy and wondered who the doll was for.

I watched him turn to a woman and he called his aunt by name and said, "Are you sure I don't have enough money." She replied a bit impatiently, "You know that you don't have enough money for it. The aunt told the little boy not to go anywhere because she had to go get some other things and would be back in a few minutes. And then she left the aisle.

The boy continued to hold the doll. After a bit I asked the boy who the doll was for. He said, "It is the doll my sister wanted so badly for Christmas. She just knew that Santa would bring it." I told him that maybe Santa was going to bring it. He said "No, Santa can't go where my sister is, I have to give the doll to my Momma to take to her."

I asked him where his sister was. He looked at me with the saddest eyes and said, "She has gone to be with Jesus. My Daddy says that Momma is going to have to go be with her."

My heart nearly stopped beating. Then the boy looked at me again and said, "I told my Daddy to tell Momma not to go yet. I told him to tell her to wait till I got back from the store." Then he asked me if I wanted to see his picture. I told him I would love to. He pulled out some pictures he'd had taken at the front of the store. He said, "I want my Momma to take this with her so she doesn't ever forget me. I love my Momma so very much and I wish she did not have to leave me. But Daddy says she will need to be with my sister."

I saw that the little boy had lowered his head and had grown so very quiet. While he was not looking, I reached into my purse and pulled out a hand-full of bills. I asked the little boy, "Shall we count that money one more time?"

He grew excited and said, "Yes, I just know it has to be enough" So I slipped my money in with his and we began to count it. And of course it was plenty for the doll. He softly said, "Thank you Jesus for giving me enough money."

Then the boy said, "I just asked Jesus to give me enough money to buy this doll so Momma can take it with her to give to my sister. And he heard my prayer. I wanted to ask him for enough to buy my Momma a white rose, but I didn't ask him, but he gave me enough to buy the doll and a rose for my Momma. She loves white roses so very, very much."

In a few minutes the aunt came back and I wheeled my cart away. I couldn't keep from thinking about the little boy as I finished my shopping in a totally different spirit than when I had started. And I kept remembering a story I had seen in the newspaper several days earlier about a drunk driver hitting a car and killing a little girl and the mother was in serious condition. The family was deciding on removal of the life support. Now surely this little boy did not belong with that story.

Two days later I read in the paper where the family had disconnected the life support and the young woman had died. I couldn't forget the little boy and just kept wondering if the two were somehow connected. Later that day, I couldn't help myself and I went out and bought some white roses and took them to the funeral home where the young woman was. And there she was holding a lovely white rose, the beautiful doll, and the picture of the little boy in the store.

I left there in tears, my life changed forever. The love that little boy had for his little sister and his mother was overwhelming. In a split second a drunk driver had ripped the life of that little boy to pieces.2

Please don't drink and drive this holiday season nor throughout the coming year.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to always be sensitive to the needs of others around me and, where needed, help me to reach and be as Jesus to them as the lady in today's lesson reached out to the heart-broken little boy. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."

1. 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV).
2. "The Doll and a White Rose" by V.A. Bailey. Source Unknown.

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