Saturday, December 05, 2015

ABOUT CHRISTMAS

Dear ones,

I was finding it difficult to get into the Season of Advent. I didn't want to leave my house, I didn't want to go anywhere. I was decidedly in a Christmas Funk! Why? I'm going to tell you. Do I need to remind you that a virgin who was 9 months pregnant traveled many miles upon a donkey to the city of Jerusalem where she gave birth on the hay of a small shed, then lovingly put her baby into a make-shift manger. Ladies, could you bear such a thing? I doubt it. But Mary never complained.

I sat and pondered why I felt as I do at this particular time, my most favorite celebration of the year. I came up with several nuances and some blatant culprits.

BEFORE Thanksgiving, the retail stores were already decorated in the style of Christmas. Then there is the marketing on television with Christmas decoration and "sale" prices. It's endless advertising on television. Bah Humbug! To the retail industry, it is all about how much money they can bring in during Christmas. It's not about Jesus' birthday. They pull every trick possible, including somehow managing also to invade your emails leaving you wonder how the got your email address.  In short, for me, Christmas has been overly commercial for some time and that monster seems to grow every year. Managers and Owners are interviewed on the news and they will tell you that they sell more in the last quarter of the year that the first three quarters put together.

I believe that people have grown so far and away from the meaning of Christmas and if it saddens me, then it also saddens Jesus. It seems to be all about gifts and that poor old stuffed turkey that makes everyone want to sleep afterward. The more gifts you buy for every person in your family becomes atrocious. The very fact that now, all stores, malls and otherwise, are all decorated for Christmas and offering "70% Off", i.e., sale prices.  People are spending all night for the Black Friday sales. Like heathens, they ruffle through tables of what was once all neatly folded but now looks like a train wreck. Shoppers can be so rude, nudging, pushing and shoving you to get to that item before you do.

It's simply awful. I realize that this is for Christmas, but do you? Are you sitting down with your children, explaining that Christmas is about Christ first and foremost? That it is not in how many gifts your receive, but being mindful that Jesus gave you a gift on His birthday and later on, his life so that you may live an eternal life in heaven. The gift of Jesus began on his birth, and it will continue forever and ever! He was born FOR YOU and he is with you every day, every hour. Amen!

Something very dire is missing. We are celebrating the birthday of Jesus Christ! Do you acknowledge this in a very casual or off-hand way? Of course one can shop for gifts but, think of a limit on gifts and shop in a more civil manner. Foremost, the birth of Jesus should be the first thing in your mind. He was born under primitive circumstances that we ladies cannot imagine. No epidural or drugs to ease your pain exist. And Mary did not have a reprieve, for they had to be at the tax office the very next day to register. Ha! It is almost comical that you bear your children and then get a period of rest before you go home, and usually ones mother may come and stay for a week or so to help out. But those late night feedings will be your responsibility. After all, you rested and slept most of the day.

Please, keep the Reason for the Season in mind. Talk to Jesus for He is so very happy for every tree decorated and every gift given in his honor. I like to put in the "From" section of the tags for gifts "Santa Clause".  I could put "Jesus" for without him, these gifts would not be possible. Thank Jesus for your gifts and then thank him for the food prepared with love that you will enjoy. Give thanks and bless the food in His Name.


Matthew 1:18-25(KJV)
18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.

Lovingly written in Jesus Christ,
ABBEY

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