Thanks to Wallace for this quote from Spurgeon:
"...This is the season of the year when, whether we wish it or not, we are compelled to think of the birth of Christ. I hold it to be one of the greatest absurdities under heaven to think that there is any religion in keeping Christmas Day. There are no probabilities whatever that our Saviour Jesus Christ was born on that day and the observance of it is purely of Popish origin; doubtless those who are Catholics have a right to hallow it, but I do not see how consistent Protestants can account it in the least sacred.
However, I wish there were ten or a dozen Christmas Days in the year; for there is work enough in the world, and a little more rest would not hurt labouring people. Christmas Day is really a boon to us, particularly as it enables us to assemble round the family hearth and meet our friends once more. Still, although we do not fall exactly in the track of other people, I see no harm in thinking of the incarnation and birth of the Lord Jesus..."
And I'm re-posting this from the blogger Archibishop Cranmer:
"...The birth of the Son of God was heralded by the Angel of the Lord, accompanied by the Shekinah, the Glory of God, followed by a multitude of the Heavenly Host singing praises. Hallelujah!
And for whose benefit was this magnificent display?
Kings? Presidents? Politicians? Religious leaders?
No, it was all for a few lowly shepherds – humble, poor, obscure and unnamed rustics of whom nothing more is heard in Scripture thereafter. While today’s puffed-up prelates court the wealthy, famous and influential, so today’s wealthy, famous and powerful seek out the privileged counsel, private chapels and cathedral pulpits of those same prelates for their displays of religiosity.
But not these shepherds. No, the Lord deemed them worthy because they were lowly. They were not body-beautiful celebrities, gifted orators, powerful decision makers or authoritative opinion formers; they were simply ordinary men, and the Lord chose them to be among the first to know that the Christ was born; that the Messiah had entered history; that the Son of God had come to redeem mankind - Immanuel.
Hail the heav'n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings
Ris'n with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! The herald angels sing
"Glory to the newborn King!"
The real deliverer and the real fulfilment of the needs of humanity is human, one of us, flesh of our flesh. He is born to rule, born to be a king, conceived of the house and lineage of David. His name is Wonderful – a mystery of divinity in humanity; Counsellor – the oracle of wisdom; the mighty God – the Word was not just with God, but was God; the Everlasting Father – not the same person as the Father, but of one substance with the Father; the Prince of Peace – bringing a peace that passes understanding..."
Thanks to all of you for visiting here at "The Burn" this year, and for those who have got in touch by email to encourage, to help, to improve, to share. But in picking through the wide range of stuff I post here, what matters most is Christ. Faith is not to be placed in a denomination, or an organised religion, or a system of morality, and not to be used to build a high horse from which to judge others. No-one deserves, or can earn, Amazing Grace. There is no "nice list" or "naughty list" with God. There's just sinful people... and then there's Christ in a category all of His own. My grandmother, long passed on, had these two verses hanging as a single text on her wall, from Matthew and the Song of Solomon:
"What think ye of Christ? He is altogether lovely".
Joy to the World. Merry Christmas.