Hosannas rang from the rafters last Sunday, ushering in one of the most important holidays of the Christian calendar. Church choirs held final rehearsals for the sorrowful anthems they’ll share during tomorrow’s Good Friday services. Saturday may include one last practice of the gloriously boisterous hymns announcing, Hallelujah! He’s alive! Oops! We missed one day of the Passion Week calendar–Thursday. If you’re not involved in a liturgical-style church celebration, you may be asking, What’s up with Maundy Thursday?
Courtesy of 123RF Stock Photo/shsphotography
Maundy comes from the Latin word, mandatum, meaning commandment or mandate. During the final,
As a young person spending my first Christmas in the jungle, I reckoned I could bring my American traditions to blend in with those of my new African friends. After all, everyone expressed a desire to go to the States. I wondered, what’s a Christmas in the jungle look like? Nothing could have prepared me for the shocking reality.
Courtesy of 123RF Stock Photo/Christian Mueringer
Mankind has needed the Jesus of Christmas since time began. When God created us, He included a unique place in our hearts just for Him. Even so, every generation has attempted to fill that spot by worshiping gods they could see, made from wood, metal, or stone. So, What’s God’s Christmas Plan?
Give them what they want
If God’s children wanted to see, hear, and touch Him before agreeing to obey His commandments, He’d oblige. The Almighty God sent Jesus, His Son, to demonstrate the way to live an obedient life. In humility Jesus left the glory of Heaven and began His earthly sojourn the same way we all do—as a baby.
Jesus did not come to earth as the son of a king or a rich man. Most of us aren’t born into royalty or wealth. Jesus’ earthly father worked as a carpenter, and so did Jesus until the time His ministry began.
God wanted the ordinary folks and poor people to know they’d find acceptance with Jesus. The same is as true today as two thousand years ago.
As with our own lives, Father God had a unique purpose/mission in mind when He sent Jesus to live on earth. His earthly life had a specific beginning, and the finale had nothing at all to do with the number of years he lived, nor the number of years He’d been in ministry.
When even the non-Christian religions of the world celebrate Christmas in their own unique traditions, why do we need Jesus in Christmas? The nativity set makes a lovely centerpiece and the children of all ages enjoy the living manger scene displayed but is it really necessary to put Jesus in our Christmas celebration?
Living Christmas nativity scene reenacted (Courtesy of 123RF Stock photo/anyka)
The answer to the question, why do we need Jesus in Christmas? hasn’t changed over the centuries. Simply, Jesus is the reason for the season. It’s his birthday, after all; but it’s so much more than that.
Kids today can’t imagine life without a microwave, instant mashed potatoes and packets of turkey dressing. It’s possible to purchase a fully-cooked turkey from the store and just reheat. If going the cook-it-yourself route today, most turkeys are sealed in a bag so the cook need not pull the turkey out to baste the bird. Drawing from childhood memories, I’ll answer the question: What’d a Fifties Thanksgiving Look Like?
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Some things never change
Even in the fifties, the day began with the beautiful Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade–in black and white until the mid-sixties. Later, a football game played on in the family room, while ladies washed up dishes before serving the dessert.