Dear Protestant Reformed Youth:
I was asked to write a few lines for you this month in connection with the proper celebration of Christmas in our own Christian schools. Certain areas were suggested, such as “should we do this?” or “Ought we do that?” I feel that the idea behind the suggestions was to reflect on whether or not certain of these things were permissible. However, the following was written in the firm belief that in the measure that we as parents and as young folk heed the command of God in this aspect of education, in that measure we will not even have the TIME (much less desire) to busy ourselves with those things which are the world’s distortion of this beautiful season.
May God bless and equip us all, and especially you as the youth of His church, to walk discretely and circumspectly in these special days of the Christmas season, 1961.
CELEBRATION OF THE ADVENT OF CHRIST JESUS
Celebration of the Advent is the topic of these comments.
Manner of the celebration by the children of the promise,
As in schools they daily gather, is the focus of attention.
Schools these are of special nature; schools where parents of the covenant
Teach the children God has given in the truths His love has planted
Deep into their hearts and conscience by the mouthpiece of His servants.
Question of the celebration which demands our keen attention
Is concerned with all involvements of the manner and procedures
That may answer to the purpose of this joyous recollection.
Schools of any type or manner occupy the place of parents
In the time the children gather there to daily be instructed.
Hence, we see these obligations borne so carefully by God’s children.
Therefore all the celebrations, programs, singing, gifts and joying,
Should conform to admonitions God has given in His Scriptures.
Surely parents through our teachers must demand this strict adherence.
Calling have they plain to answer questions of their sons and daughters
That pertain to fact and meaning of God’s Word become Incarnate
(Even as the young of Israel learned of stones from Jordan’s bottom.)
It is true that children questions but the matter isn’t altered
Should they cease this wondrous asking, for command to teach them always
Is concise and clear and binding – is not on their will dependent!
Teach them all of God’s commandments; teach them of man’s sinful nature;
Each them how God gave the promise unto man in Eden’s garden;
Teach them how the church looked forward through the ages for Messiah.
Teach them for what glorious purpose God decreed to send Immanuel.
Teach them of God’s sovereign wonder as into our flesh He entered;
Teach them what a glorious thank-song now is theirs – forever shall be!!
Even as we laud His coming we see via dolorosa –
His to walk in love, obedience for all those the Father gave Him.
This the babe, born in the stable, completed on the hill of Calvary.
More we see in Jesus’ coming; we see glorious Easter’s morning,
When o’er death He rose triumphant. To see glories of Ascension
To the Father who had sent Him, sacrificial work completed.
Many other gifts we notice should be brought before their mind’s eye,
From the pages of His Writings, which we still may have unhindered:
Notably he Holy Spirit Whom He sent to witness in us.
Wondrous witness of the Spirit with our spirit that we His are,
Is a facet of salvation full of comfort for sojourners
Who, by grace, seek now a city builder and whose maker God is.
These to children, God has told us, must be taught in all their thinking,
So that early they will ponder all the marvels of salvation –
Early they will know contentment to shout psalms in darkest night watch.
What an endless stream of mercy He has shown for us to tell them!!
Time is short to tell the story and the glories of its meaning –
So we want no introduction of man’s earthly deviations.
Substitutions, man’s traditions, may not hold their place among us!!
Gravitation toward corruptions, (Heathen handed down to heathen),
Surely must detract from essence of our spirit’s contemplations.
Crowd we days with gifts and holly? Crowd them with the glistening pine tree?
Crowd them with those empty greetings spoken without thought or meaning?
This we do that covenant children may the Christ-child see more clearly?
God forbid that covenant parents should so use the Christmas season!!
Father let us point to beauties of the coming of Messiah!
Teach our children in this season: ALLELUIA!! God sent Jesus!