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Issue at Hand, December 2021

The month of December ushers in a season of the year that is precious to the believer because of its association with the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Though our celebration of Christmas during this month of the year is more representative of Christian tradition than a real knowledge of exactly when […]

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Reflections on G. F. Handel’s Messiah

Messiah: this age-old masterpiece was composed in 1741 in London, England. A brilliant musician and composer, George Frederic Handel completed his three-part oratorio in a mere twenty-four days. With words carefully selected from the entirety of the King James Version by English lyricist Charles Jennens, the story of our Savior was set to music. While […]

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Song of Christmas

O, Jesus, Word made flesh to dwell among us, How can I thank Thee for Thy Gift?  What way Can I in human frailty find to praise Thee best, Who came the price for my dread sin to pay? Thou wert despised, rejected for Thine Own, A man of sorrows from Thy day of birth. […]

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The Origin of Christmas Customs

*This article was originally published in the December 1964 issue. The Church of our Lord Jesus Christ rejoices that her Head and Redeemer was born as a babe in Bethlehem almost two thousand years ago.  On December 25?  In the year 1 A.D.?  It seems that neither the month nor the year is correct.  The […]

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Mirth and Madness

*This article was originally published in the December 1961 issue. At no other time of the year does the behavior of the American people as closely approach insanity as at Christmas. One glance at a red-colored date, five sixths of the way through the December calendar, and an entire nation lurches into incredible activity. Like […]

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Christmas

Christ was born on Christmas Day He came to live on earth Because it was the Father’s Will, He bore a lowly birth. There was no room within the Inn To make the Babe a bed. This Little One, who now is King Was born within a cattle shed. Although He bore a lowly birth, […]

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The Reality of Christmas

Christmas is one of the most celebrated times of the year in the Christian world today. Church and world alike participate in its majestic celebration. Beginning a month before the date of celebration, the songs of Christmas begin to fill the air. The postman staggers under the ponderous burden of gift packages and greeting cards. […]

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Jesus is Born

One night on the hills of Judea As shepherds watched over their sheep, A messenger came from Jehovah While round them the world was asleep. Jesus is born! Was the message he brought: He whom God’s people Through ages had sought.   The shepherds, exceedingly frightened, Were comforted now with these words, And hastened to […]

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An Outside Insight on Christmas

I think other writers have clearly stated, much better than I, what the Christian should have as a guide to the celebration of Christmas. I refer to Dirk Westra’s article of last year, “How Should We Cele­brate Christmas?” and Michael Bosveld’s contribution to the Christmas issue of Beacon Lights in 1989/1990. I admire the way […]

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How Should We Celebrate Christmas?

Are you for or against Christmas? While this may appear to be an unusual question, there are two divergent spirits among us that may provide some basis for asking it. Some people go “all out” in this celebration of Christmas, while others claim that we make too big a deal out of it, and that […]

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Jesus is Born

  The Christmas story is the best Bible story I ever heard. When people tell me that story I feel good and sad. The dark years before Christmas made me feel sad.  I think the best part of the story is when Jesus is born.  He was the light after all that darkness. I will […]

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Preparing the Church for Christmas

How do I, a minister of the Gospel, having my roots in the Reformation (in particular the Reformation under John Calvin) prepare my congregation for the celebration of Christmas?  At first I felt that such a question placed me in somewhat an awkward position; especially considering that John Calvin among other prominent Reformers encouraged a […]

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Advent

“Are you ready for Christmas?”  This question often conjures up visions of shopping for gifts, gift wrapping, decorating the house lavishly in red and green, gold and silver, baking all sorts of goodies, family get-togethers, concerts, programs, parties and more.  At the end one may be exhausted and resentful of the season.  There is nothing […]

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Thoughts on Christmas from Down Under

Christmas in Australia is a celebration which would no doubt be very similar to the Christmas that the average American celebrates.  Most of the different Christian denominations celebrate Christmas much the same as Americans would, with a church service on Christmas Day and other Christmas services on the Sundays around December 25. The world sees […]

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Leaving Christ Out of Christmas

Here I am, sitting in the living room of my house, on Thanksgiving Day. My appetite has just been satisfied with plenty of turkey and stuffing and the rest of the Thanksgiving Day dinner. The radio is on, the table is cleared, dishes washed; a perfect time for a snooze. Almost nodding off, my ears […]

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Tis The Season

‘Tis the season, indeed. Need anyone ask, What season? The world of the J.C. Penney’s, the K-Marts, the Younkers, etc., has been reminding us of the coming, the arrival, and soon (none too soon for many), the end of the “Holiday Season”—Christmas and New Year’s. It seems the whole world, at least all North America, […]

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Antichristmas

Covenant young people, let me begin by explaining the title of this article. Perhaps you judge from the title that I am against Christmas, and that this is an article which criticizes our practice of commemorating the birth of our Lord Jesus on the day known as Christmas. Such is not the case, however, and […]

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Christmas – Sign of Our Lord’s Return

When I was first requested to write an article concerning the observance of Christmas, I felt somewhat uneasy. Anyone who has studied the origins of our observance of December 25 as “Christmas,” understands that the beginning of this festival has little to do with Christ and more to do with Antichrist. Some think that Christmas […]

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Song of Christmas

O, Jesus, Word made flesh to dwell among us, How can I thank Thee for Thy Gift? What way Can I in human frailty find to praise Thee best, Who came the price for my dread sins to pay? Thou wert despised, rejected for Thine Own, A man of sorrows from Thy day of birth. […]

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Christ is Born – So Sing!

During the Christmas season, we hear Christmas Carols wherever we go – in the shopping mall, in the grocery store, on the radio – the world fills the air with songs of celebration. But for Christians, hymns of Christmas have a far more special place in our celebra­tion. We have the unique opportunity to sing […]

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Needing God’s Salvation

There is one aspect of Christmas that I feel is not given enough thought. We talk much about the unspeakable gift, our Savior. But maybe it would be good to back up a little. Let’s look at ourselves in the light of Scripture. The last thing the ungodly man wants to do, especially at Christmas […]

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God Will Provide Himself

He looked out across the vast valley that lay below them. He could see the green land they had just travelled through stretching for miles and the small streams which ran through the land making the land even more full of life. They had travelled for three days bringing with them all that they needed […]

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Our Merciful High Priest

At this time of the year, the people of the world, and the people of the church are celebrating the festivity called Christmas. Believer and unbeliever alike have trees put in their homes, put colored lights on them (some flickering), spend large amounts of money for gifts, sing the same songs, and by all outward […]

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Definition of “Christmas”

This article is written as a response to the article which was written in the December issue of the Beacon Lights entitled “Definition of Christmas.” That article began with the question, “Who needs a definition of Christmas?” After reading the article, I felt it necessary to present what I believe in the true definition of […]

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Definition of “Christmas”

Who needs a definition of Christmas? Even young children know that Christmas is the day we celebrate the birth of Christ. One only needs to look “Christmas” up in the dictionary to find that much of a definition. But certainly there is more to Christmas! Can’t we find a fuller definition? The world around us […]

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