All posts in "Christmas"

Christmas outreach for $1 per family


Here’s a great way to impact homes in your community this Christmas through Crossway Publications: The Share the Good News of Christmas program is a simple, cost-effective way to help your church bring the gospels to your neighborhood. Rally your family members, church staff, small groups, and Sunday school classes to visit your neighbors and hand out cheerful Christmas bags. Each kit includes: 50 cheerful door-hanger bags 50 ESV Outreach New Testament Christmas Editions 50 customizable invitations to attend a Christmas service at your church 50 copies of The Good News of Christmas tract by Max Lucado 50 cards announcing a FREE opportunity to explore the ESV Online Study Bible free for 30 days 1 Instruction card 1 Reproducible church bulletin insert Each kit will be sold for $50.00. That’s only $1.00 per home! This affordable package is a great ministry opportunity for your church family. It’s also a great ministry opportunity to spread the word about children’s programs, choir concerts, Christmas caroling, and more! For more information, samples, and free promotional material, see the Share the Good News of Christmas website. Video below or click here to view. Share the Good News of Christmas from Crossway on Vimeo.


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Xmas is okay


Scholar R.C. Sproul has a short explanation on why using “X” for “Christ” in Christmas is acceptable: The idea of X as an abbreviation for the name of Christ came into use in our culture with no intent to show any disrespect for Jesus. The church has used the symbol of the fish historically because it is an acronym. Fish in Greek (ichthus) involved the use of the first letters for the Greek phrase “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior.” So the early Christians would take the first letter of those words and put those letters together to spell the Greek word for fish. That’s how the symbol of the fish became the universal symbol of Christendom. There’s a long and sacred history of the use of X to symbolize the name of Christ, and from its origin, it has meant no disrespect. HT:  Justin Taylor


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Merry Christmas 2009


“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:11-14 (ESV) Merry Christmas!


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Mary’s Magnificat and the poor


And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.” Luke 1 (ESV) A Magnificat kind of Christmas, which understands Christmas as about God’s acts to redeem through the incarnation, is also about the poor… I suspect that Mary understood the conception of the Messiah in her womb as the first act of God to establish justice through her son — he would scatter the proud and bring down rulers and send the rich away empty and he would also lift the humble and fill the hungry with good things. Scot McKnight


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White Horse for Christmas


Bring me a white horse for Christmas We’ll ride him through the town Out into the snowy woods Where we will both lie down Underneath white birches Our faces toward the sky We will make snow angels With our white horse standing by Hush now baby One day we’re gonna ride Hush now baby Our white horse through the sky Bring me a white horse for Christmas We’ll ride him through the snow All the way to Bethlehem 2000 years ago I wanna speak with the angel Who said do not be afraid I wanna kneel where the oxen knelt Where the little child was laid Hush now baby One day you’re gonna ride Hush now baby Your white horse through the sky No bridle will he be wearing His unshod hoofs they will fly Keep a watch out this Christmas For that white horse in the sky Hush now baby One day we’re gonna ride Hush now baby Our white horse through the sky Hush now baby Let every angel sing Hush now baby One day we’ll ride again Words & music by Linford Detweiler Stream OTR’s Christmas album free here.


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“God is a great fugue”


Peter Bannister is a modern classic composer who takes theology seriously. Concerning his recent oratorio Et iterum venturus est (And He shall come again), he says: The historic creedal statement…reminds us that the Christian faith not only calls us to remember the Word’s becoming flesh but also to live in anticipation of Christ’s return. Et iterum venturus est is conceived as a work pulled in the “two directions” … focusing on Christ as both the promised Savior and Judge of Christian eschatology. For a long time I have felt that during the liturgical season of Advent (which will be the context for the first performance of the piece in December 2008) a great deal of attention is paid to recalling the (not-so-burning) Babe of Bethlehem and relatively little to the Crucified and Risen Christ’s future coming in glory … ‘to judge the living and the dead’ in the words of the Creed. The danger of this is that the awesome, unfathomable mystery that is the Incarnation becomes domesticated, dissociated from the transformational call to repentance and its implications for both our individual lives and God’s world. While being careful to avoid any kind of speculation on the time-frame for the parousia, I intend to juxtapose scriptural texts regarding these two comings of Christ within one work in order to demonstrate their inseparability within the Biblical witness and…to interpret the past in the light of the future. The video above (also viewable on YouTube here), Peter reflects on the challenges he faced writing Et iterum venturus est, discussing the intrinsic connection between music and spirituality and how he realized the necessity of linking profound theological reflection with challenging musical scores. Click here to download an interview with Peter Bannister by Greg Wheatley that aired on Moody Radio. HT:  Chandler Branch, Soli Deo Gloria


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