Thursday, December 25, 2008

"all things were made and came into existence through Him; and without Him was not even one thing made that has come into being. In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shines on in the darkness, for the darkness has never overpowered it [ put it out or absorbed it or appropriated it, and is even unreceptive to it]."
John 1: 3 - 5 (Amplified Bible)
It's Christmas once again, and in the Christian circles around the globe, the birth of Christ is celebrated. We know and understand that this is not a true representation of Christ's birth, but that it was a chosen time on the calender, which has caused much disagreement throughout history.
Hanukkah started on Dec. 22, this year and i bless my Jewish friends to have some wonderful time with family and tradition.
i didn't grow up with much tradition outside of the usual, family time, church, a meal, presents (which seemed to take the forefront).
Then God chased me down and got my full attention when i was 18, all these things began to change and it was not about me anymore and what i could get out of it. Slowly little things began to happen on a regular basis around and leading up to Christmas. There was ministry to the less fortunate, visiting at the jail, going about doing what we could for others with whatever means we had available. My children learnt to appreciate the fact that Christmas meant family and friends and helping others. Then there were small things we did as a family that became tradition, like opening one gift each Christmas eve after church service and a special breakfast in the morning. Where we lived it was always a white Christmas, so skating and sledding were enjoyed. And of course a grand turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
There has always been the battle of light and darkness surrounding anything that has to do with Jesus, no matter what time of year it is. But two thousand years later and the light has not been extinguished and never will be.
Before the crucifixion, the Jewish leaders met and spoke about Jesus ministry like it was going to be a flash in the pan, they had seen these things before. History reminds us of all the dictators who have risen and fallen trying to snuff out the message from God. Think of all the regimes around the globe and find one that still remains today, (outside of religion), and there isn't one. Why do you think that is?
Religious tradition is probably the strongest element to every culture that keeps men focused on something. It's a necessary part of our make-up. If you're not spiritual, then you have religious ritual in some other form, something your heart is overtaken by, sports, which has numerous dimensions is i think the most prevalent. So you see, if it ain't Jesus it's a substitute in one form or another.
Another thing present in all cultures are the stories between good and evil or light and darkness if you please. It goes on and on and we all love the stories. What is one of the most popular today and making it's way around the globe but Harry Potter, books and films. There's another light and darkness phenomenon?
Anyway, it's Christmas, and we enjoyed our traditions. My first with new wife and family, having a special waffle breakfast, prepared by her, (i do most all cooking) with blackberries, homemade maple syrup, flavoured coffee and rejoicing in God. Then we were trying to come up with a movie and it so happened Casablanca was on TV, (i know it's not about Christmas) and we watched the entire movie uninterrupted, so maybe that's something new for us.
The only thing i really missed this year because of financial strain was assisting someone less fortunate than myself. At least not so far this season.
The absolute best thing of all, is that before this whole world began, far far before he knew me and knew my name and loved me enough then to prepare life for me, and i've hardly scratched the surface of this miraculous truth.
Now, go figure that one out!

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