Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Classic BibChr Christmas links (re-post and update from 2008)

Some of you are new arrivals. Since blog readers don't tend to go back through the archives... here you go! (Slightly edited and updated)

Christmas has long been a favorite season and event for me. Christmas carols pre-evangelized me, and it's always been a wonderful time. So I've got some links to my past writing (and some of your contributions, Dear Readers) to share you might have missed:
  • From my web site, there's the essay To Tell the Truth, Virginia.... It's a Gospel presentation keying off of Isaiah 7:14.
  • From December of 2004 comes the sermon Longing for Christmas, in which I preach on the flow of OT prophecy pointing to the Messiah, Jesus.


JackW said...

Thanks Dan, these are great. I would like to share a couple of things that have given me some seasonal joy.

I’ve come to really enjoy watching the Parkside Church Christmas and Easter music programs. This is a mega church that I think gets it right and Dan will love the last song. The message is always an excellent example of presenting the Gospel to the lost who come for the music.


The Getty’s did a thank you Christmas song that actually uses a lute. How rare is that?
My Soul Will Magnify the Lord (The Magnificat))


Susan said...

Are those two crying on Santa's lap yours?? (Smaller versions of their current selves, of course.)

(The "24" clip was hilarious--and I don't even watch that show!)

Aaron said...

I love the history of Christmas posts. Those are awesome!

I don't include Santa in my home for other reasons. I'm not entirely convinced by argument that having Santa is lying to your kids. Do you tell your three year old that Mickey Mouse is actually a young lady in a costume? What about the tooth fairy? I don't like Santa because (1) I think it serves to distract from the main reason of Christmas and (2) I want my kids to appreciate and thank the people who actually provided their gifts. The first one is really a minor issue for me because the same could be said about Christmas presents, trees, etc. The second is my main reason. I'm really working hard to have my kids be appreciative and thankful to those who sacrifice their work (and that what's money is) for them.

DJP said...

I didn't leave a little bit of cheese out "for Mickey" when I tucked my kids in, and then let them find a few gnawed remnants in the morning, or come up with an elaborate mythology that tries to put an actual Mickey Mouse in our houses at some point.

Nor, if some child had said Mickey was actually a gal in a costume when my older two were in public school, would I have complained to the teacher and demanded that the whistle-blower be silenced.

Though to me, the "distraction" factor is sufficient.

SandMan said...

Wow! A lot of spiritual "meat" to chew on in this post.

It's interesting to hear you preach. Since I have never met you in person, it is hard not to imagine you standing in the pulpit in a Pyro shirt leaning upon thy sword. Have not had the time to make my way through all the sermon yet, but I read the articles. I was compelled to offer God worship as you expounded the glories of the incarnation of Jesus and the prophecies leading up to His arrival.

re:Santa. My parents "lied" to me. I grew up Catholic and distinctly remember sweating it out on Christmas Eve... wondering if I had done too many bad things this year, and if I'd earn a stocking with coal. And, because Santa sees you when your sleeping and knows if you've been bad or good, I really did think of him on par with God. When Santa seemed to have approved of me on Christmas morning (presents were abundant), I actually assumed that God and me were "all good" too.

I was about 6 when I learned that Santa wasn't real and about 6-7 years after that I learned the me and God weren't all good, either. Praise God for the truth!

We do not tell our kids that Santa is real... the grandparents are disappointed in us for stealing all the "fun."

Rachael Starke said...

For some reason, my nearly 4 y.o. has surreptitiously swallowed the Santa Koolaid, and, worse, the two older ones who should know better have decided to regress too. There's been a lot of talk about Santa needing cookies and milk on Thursday and all that. What's really frustrating is that I am having a hard time figuring out how to disbuse them of the idea without being too harsh about it. It's just a rotten irony and testament to my wicked, ignorant heart that many times I sense my lack of kindness and compassion toward my kids, but in this, I'm probably being, not necessarily too compassionate, because I agree that Santa isn't helpful, but....well...chicken is probably the better word. :)

If you or any of the wonderful little community of older, wiser parents would like to offer up thoughts, I'll gladly listen. My mumbliness about "Weelllll, that's not really what Christmas is about" isn't exactly breaking through.

DJP said...

You homeschool, right, Rachael?

Assign them a paper on "To Tell the Truth, Virginia...."

Paul Nevergall said...

I really enjoy "To tell the Truth, Virginia..." but have you ever considered updating the background?

Rachael Starke said...

:) I used to say no, but I've recently changed my answer to "well, all moms homeschool their kids, it's just a matter of what they're teaching them." ;) So, I outsource the readin', writin' and 'rithmetic to a wonderful little Christian school where my sister-in-law is a teacher. They're very big on Jesus and small on Santa, but the little one's Lutheran preschool has a majority of wealthy unsaved parents who just revel in the mythology.

And I'd forgotten that Virginia piece and how much I loved how you made such a great lesson out of such a ridiculous story!!! My oldest is only 8, but in a couple years, that definitely would make for a good little exercise for her. But today in the car we had some good talks about it, and my middle girl was very eager to talk about the most important gift at Christmas being salvation. I know she's just parroting what we've taught her, but I'm thankful the motor memory is beginning to work and praying all the time for the day when it becomes real to her.

Aaron said...

Michael Medved is doing a show today entitled "The Secret History of Christmas.". It's quite detailed but the first ten minutes certainly support the idea that early Christians always knew Christ's birthday was not in winter (because of sheep in the fields at night). There were two other pagan holidays Saturnalia and mythras (discussed in the article linked by Dan) that were in December.