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ESV: Book of Common Prayer Daily Office Lectionary

« The Story of St Nicholas | Main | Theosis »

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Paul

Very nice. As a Baptist I'm reminded of the British Baptist pastor Charles Spurgeon who spoke against celebrating Christmas altogether - and that was before Wal-Mart and fourth quarter earnings reports.

Mary

I have given some thought to the "happy holidays" vs. "Merry Christmas" issue, too. I think I am beginning to understand that there are two lives at play here. One of my own is devoted to Christmas in the Christian sense and the other is devotion to commercialism. The fact is that I don't even have enough resources to purchase a bunch of meaningless gifts just because it's the time of year for doing so. More importantly, I make my immediate family (husband and two kids) my priority. Everyone else gets what is left over. The reason I do this is because they give to me all year and they are there no matter what; therefore, I give to them first. I will never give gifts just because it is the thing to do-- I will only give as I feel moved. Throughout the year there are lots of opportunities to give, and the very best time to give is when there is a need. I am amazed at the range of passion about the holiday vs. christian issue-- we have so many other problems to deal with.

This morning I was reading through my Week in Review magazine and there is a small article about a movement to recruit youth to white-supremacy. See http://www.theweekmagazine.com for the "Show of the Week" Hate Rock article. This is scary!

~m2~

wonderful post. wonderful :)

Joe

This was great. This year I am having the youth do a coupon Chirstmas instead of gifts. The coupons are for certain services you can do for someone.
I have hope things will change.

gavin

those are some great images lorna
terry, thanks for highlighting this, it's probably the best stated viewpoint of this conversation.

Lorna

Thanks for the feedback.

I love Advent and I lvoe Christmas - but I long for the commercialism to be less, without us becoming -what do you call it inthe US? Grinches

I haven't celebrated in Greece but it sounds great :)

In Austria - in the alps - it's a very peaceful build up to Christmas and like here in Finland lighting candles in the cemetery is part of the Christmas Eve practice, which I love. (Whatever your beliefs its peaceful and beauitfully there and a chance to bring back good memories. )

And in the snow the candles give off much more light than you'd expect. I love it :)

stephen

Thanks for the ideas of how to celebrate Christmas "counter-culturally", Lorna.

How about this one: take your tithe to Wal-Mart and distribute it amongst the employees making minimum wage and not getting jack in the way of health-insurance.

Damien Scott

Wonderful!
Having grown up in an evagelical fundamentalist church in the Bible Belt that despised the holiday of Christmas as papist and pagan, I am amused/saddened by their current righteous indignation over taking "Christ" out of "Christ-Mass." And then lots of the same churches are opting NOT to have worship on Christmas Day (a Sunday!) because it should be spent with family! I thought part of the message was that we are now members of a larger family -- the family of God.

At any rate, Happy Immaculate Conception for those who celebrate that, happy Advent to those who are in the middle of that season and Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays and Happy Hannukah (also on December 25 this year) to us all!

soulpastor

Thanks for the post and the link. Very Refreshing! Very true!

Seraphim

Thanks for your kind wordsand the link to my blog! Looking at Lorna's comment, I am reminded of how I saw the Nativity celebrated in Greece when I was there a couple of years ago. The entire period up to Christmas was very quiet. That was the period of the Nativity Fast for the Orthodox, and the quiet on the streets reflected that. Christmas Day itself was celebrated in church, followed by dinner with family and friends. It was the week after that which looked more like Christmas as we think of it - snowmen, and Santa and presents and what not. It all culminated on New Year's Eve, when presents were exchanged and there was general merriment. A pretty decent compromise, I thought. It managed to preserve the sanctity of the Nativity and still give everyone a chance to really celebrate as well.

Lorna

counter cultural

*celebrate new year on Advent Sunday

*want to give gifts - try alternate ways of giving that are fun, thoughtful and not last minute or hurried. bake cookies, choose a book, buy a goat in Africa from oxfam and giveyor loved one some goat's cheese

*live giving generously for the whole year

* and when you greet cash assistants with Merry Christmas - don't do it to point score, but as you smile and greet them, make contact, learn their name, single them out next time and start to bless them in the mighty name of Jesus

jesus doesn't belong in Wal-Mart, but the people who belong to him shop and work there, let's spread the real meaning of Christmas - the love the joy and the knowledge of our salvation

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