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Christmas Comes

Posted By Connie Moody, Saturday, December 22, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Comes

By Mary Ann Matthews

(As printed in "Reflections of Christmas”, 28th Edition, © Wheelabrator Corp, 1970)

Christmas comes at different times for me every year. I never know precisely when it will arrive or what will produce its spirit, but I can always be sure that it will happen.

Last year Christmas happened while I was visiting my parents. The day was frightfully cold, with swirls of snow in the air, and I was looking out of the living room window of my parents’ home which faces the church. Workmen had just finished constructing the annual nativity scene in the churchyard when school let out for the day. Children gathered excitedly around the crèche, but they didn’t stay long; it was far too cold for lingering.

Finally I noticed that all the children had hurried away—except for a tiny six-year-old girl. The wind lashed at her coat and she hopped from foot to foot to keep warm, but she stayed nevertheless, and carefully studied the Baby, Joseph, Mary and the rest of the display. And then I saw her remove her green woolen head scarf. Lovingly, she wrapped it around the statue of Baby Jesus. She patted the statue, kissed the baby cheek, and scurried shiveringly down the street, her black curls frosted with tiny diamonds of ice.

Christmas had come once again.

There is no doubt that this Christmas season 2012 "the day is frightfully cold” and darkness shrouds our holiday cheer. This December will forever be marked with the heartache of death: for some of us, the passing of a loved one; for all of us, the tragic and senseless murder of 26 children and adults at Sandy Hook. Yes, the winds lash at our lives and swirls of pain and sorrow discourage us from lingering at the manger.

But the secret to seeing through the storm is to stay and carefully study the Baby and offer ourselves.

Christmas comes.

This simple Christmas hymn (author unknown) provides a deep insight to this very truth if you will meditate on the words and allow Christmas to come by coming to Christ:

Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Come to the stall.
Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Come one and all.

Come to the manger, come to the manger,
By early morn
Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Jesus is born.

Peace on earth, good will toward men,
Sing alleluia, again and again.
Peace on earth, good will toward men,
Sing alleluia, again and again.

Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Come to the stall.
Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Come one and all.

Come to the manger, come to the manger,
By early morn
Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Jesus is born.

Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Come join all we
Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Jesus to see.

Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Come through the night
Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Dear morning bright.

Come to Bethlehem,
Come and kneel
Sing alleluia, again and again
Alleluia, alleluia.
Alleluia, alleluia.

Come to the manger, come to the manger,
By early morn
Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Jesus is born.

Come to the manger, come to the manger,
This to restore
Come to the manger, come to the manger,
Come and adore,
Come and adore.

Meeting you at the manger this Christmas,

The FACE Staff

Tags:  Baby Jesus  Christmas  Manger  Sandy Hook 

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On Christmas Day

Posted By Connie Moody, Thursday, December 22, 2011

Dr. Peter Lillback, president of Westminster Theological Seminary and The Providence Forum and author of the bestselling George Washington's Sacred Fire (Providence Forum Press) wrote in the Winter, 2006-07 Forum Gazette about a youthful George Washington: "Consider what Washington learned of Christmas as a student. His school papers still exist and include [the copied poem "On Christmas Day” beginning with]: ‘Assist me Muse divine to sing the morn / On which the Saviour of mankind was born.'” This is but one tiny bit of the plethora of primary source documents including George Washington's own papers and the writings of those closest to him that verify Washington's faith as decidedly Christian, not deistic, as the revisionists like to promote.

Consider and ponder and perhaps copy the words of this poem, once so beautifully rendered in young George Washington's own hand (a PDF of his original copywork is attached), as you contemplate the purpose of Christ's coming to earth this Christmas season.

On Christmas Day

Assist me Muse divine to sing the morn,

On which the Saviour of mankind was born;

But oh! what numbers to the theme can rise?

Unless kind angels aid me from the skies?

Methinks I see the tunefull Host descend,

And with officious joy the scene attend!

Hark, by their hymns directed on the road,

The gladsome shepherds find the nascent God!

And view the Infant conscious of his Birth,

Smiling bespeak Salvation to the Earth!

For when the important Æra first drew near

In which the great Messiah should appear;

And to accomplish his redeeming Love,

Resign a while his glorious throne above;

Beneath our form should every Woe sustain,

And by triumphant suffering fix his Reign,

Should for the lost man in tortures yield his Breath

Dying to save us from eternal Death!

Oh mystick union!—salutary Grace!

Incarnate God our nature should embrace!

That Deity should stoop to our Disguise!

That man recovered should regain the skies!

Dejected adam! from thy grave ascend,

And ours the Serpent's Deadly malice end;

Adorning bless th' Almighty's boundless Grace

That gave his son a Ransome for thy Races!

Oh never let my soul this Day forget,

But pay in gratefull praise her annual Debt

To him, whom tis my Trust, I shall [adore]

When time and sin, and Death [shall be no more.]

Transcribed from George Washington's Papers at the Library of congress, 1741-1799: Series 1a.  George Washington, Forms of Writing, and The Rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation, ante 1747.

See more of Washington's notebook pages and learn more about his faith, his Providential preparation and his impact in George Washington: The Character and Influence of One Man, by Verna M. Hall.  Available from FACE [click here].

Download File (PDF)

Tags:  Christmas  George Washington  notebook 

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Go, tell it on the mountain...

Posted By Connie Moody, Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dr. Carole Adams reminds us in the foreword of the Noah Plan Literature Guide that, "It is no accident that Jesus spoke in stories. The story is a direct avenue to the heart, illumining reason by igniting the soul.” There is great power and influence in telling stories—in igniting souls—is there not?

The greatest story ever told is the story of Christ—His birth, ministry, death, and resurrection—the Gospel. John Wesley Work, Jr. (c. 1871-1925) compiled and published Folk Songs of the American Negro in 1907 and included an arrangement of a spiritual that had been sung as far back as the mid 1860's proclaiming one chapter of this grand narrative, the nativity of Christ: "Go, tell it on the mountain, / That Jesus Christ is born.”

Storytelling is God's way of restoring hope to the generations—the Hope of the Blessed Redeemer. According to the etymology of the word, the primary sense of ‘hope' is "to extend, to reach forward.” This description conjures the image of a child balanced on the edge of his seat straining to know what happens next in the story. So, let us be those storytellers who renovate the age, who repair the breach, who restore the streets in which to dwell—who share hope—by telling the story of the Savior in this season of celebrating His birth. Let us set the world on the edge of its seat and give hope to the generations.

Equip yourself as a storyteller with resources from FACE:
A Classical Christmas for Family ReadingClassical Christmas for Family Reading

 

Tags:  Christmas  family  literature  reading  storytelling 

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