Radio stations have started their twenty-five days of joyful Christmas carols. Families are addressing beautiful Christmas cards to loved ones. Delicious recipes are being pulled from kitchen drawers in preparation for baking Christmas cookies. And Christmas trees stand tall for purchase; soon to be decorated in anticipation of Christmas presents ready to surround them.
All these festive activities point to only one blessed extraordinary day, a day which school children and employees alike will be excused from their expected duties–Christmas!
But, dear followers of the True Light of Christmas, do you know there are some folks out there directly trying to snuff the festivities Christians enjoy as we ponder the true meaning of Christmas?
While Joseph and Mary were living in Nazareth and Mary was still with child, the Roman Emperor, Caesar Augustus, declared a census of the entire Roman empire.
Pregnancy or not, you don’t keep an Emperor waiting! Augustus decided he needed a population count for military and tax reasons. Though Jews were not required to serve in the military, they most definitely were required to pay taxes.
So Joseph took his pregnant fiancee, Mary, and made the seventy mile journey to Bethlehem. He traveled to because men were required to return to their hometown; Joseph was a descendent of King David and Joseph’s family came from Bethlehem.
Joseph from Nazareth, a descendent of David pledged to marry the virgin, Mary, received a personal message of hope from God. Delivered by an angel, Joseph understood God’s direction to fulfill his part in God’s divine plan.
The message to this local carpenter was the answer to a unique personal dilemma Joseph was struggling with at the time of the angel’s encounter.
And Joseph’s obedience would forever change the direction of our world!
The word joy appears 218 times in 210 verses of the New International Version of the Bible. God absolutely wants His children to desire, seek, attain, and boldly live in joy!
As a child during vacation Bible school, we often sang the Joy Joy Joy Joy song. I really enjoyed that song because our leaders encouraged us to sing it enthusiastically LOUD.
My memories are vivid—I was always happy and cheerful while we sang that inspiring song. Now as an adult, I totally appreciate going deeper into the meaning of that song, resonating in those unadorned lyrics.
What a blessing to be spending the holidays with my husband, mother, daughter and son-in-law!
Holiday’s past included a wider field of family, but over the years that has changed. Beloved members have passed, some moved out of state, and sadly, we have lost touch with others for various reasons.
However, though our party group has gotten smaller, I have found I have expanded my understanding of the meaning of Christmas.Continue reading →
BREAKING — Last night Bethlehem shepherds (the exact number in their group has not been confirmed) tending over their flocks while living out in nearby fields, were terrifiedby what appeared at first to be an unexplained brilliant light source. Upon closer inspection, the shepherds acknowledged the magnificent light source to be that of an angel of the Lord which appeared to them.Continue reading →
BREAKING —Octavianus, who goes by the name Caesar Augustus, has decreed that a census be taken of the entire Roman world. The adopted son of Julius Caesar, Octavianus has taken the name Caesar as his own and combined it with the title Augustus which means great. Critics believe his name choice is an attempt to make himself look powerful.Continue reading →
BREAKING — It has been confirmed a local carpenter was visited by an angel last night. Holy documentation reveals Joseph descendent of David, was struggling with a unique problem at the time of his encounter. Through a personal dream this man from Nazareth understood and carried out a divine message that will forever change the world!Continue reading →