Tag: Christmas

Colors of Christmas – Gold

Colors of Christmas – Gold

Christmas, Encouragment
Our final Color of Christmas is gold and its symbolism of value. We may not be paid in gold or use gold at the local store, but the idea of value remains regardless of the currency. We exchange something we have such as time, ability, and expertise for something of value which can then be exchanged for something desired. However, this activity of commerce and exchange is not the meaning of Christmas gold. For that, we must return to the story. Matthew records the journey of the magi and their search for a newborn king. Put aside for this article when they encountered Jesus, Mary, and Joseph in relation to the other events associated with Christmas. Matthew’s point is that in Israel, the Jewish homeland, foreigners with a strange language and religion recognized Jesus as king. Everyone e
Christmas Kisses

Christmas Kisses

Christmas, Encouragment
I haven’t realized until recently the uniqueness of my childhood Christmases. My family wasn’t large but long. When I was a child, there were five living generations including four grandparents, six great-grandparents, and one great-great-grandmother. Seven of them lived within a few miles of each other. The others were less than thirty minutes away. Beginning noon Christmas Eve and culminating Christmas evening we would visit every one of them. Sure, there were presents, I remember a few of them, but what I remember most are the wet grandma kisses. Our day began at noon with a customer appreciation meal at Wuethrich Oil in Eureka. Grandpa Kindred, Mom’s dad, worked there as an alignment specialist. Every year they would clean up the garage and offer hot ham sandwiches for all that
The Colors of Christmas – Red

The Colors of Christmas – Red

Christmas, Encouragment
Red seems to be everywhere when Christmas comes around. It is the most common color for Santa’s suit thanks to Coca-Cola. Red balls, bows, and lights hang on many Christmas trees. Peppermint canes are stripped with red. Even nature joins in as deep green holly sports its red fruit. Is there a deeper meaning here or is it a marketing ploy designed to capture our attention like Rudolf’s bright red nose? There is a special significance to the color red in relation to Christmas but it may not be comfortable to talk about. It is said there is a red or scarlet thread of redemption running throughout the entire Bible. From the animals sacrificed to provide skin covers for Adam and Eve after they ate the forbidden fruit and God’s promise to send a messiah. Through the animal sacrifices offered
Colors of Christmas – Silver

Colors of Christmas – Silver

Christmas, Encouragment
What exactly is the color of silver? Except for some nuance of shading, silver shares its color with chrome and stainless steel. It is easily mimicked by tinsel. (Does anyone use tinsel on their Christmas trees anymore?) It is the color of some coins whether silver, nickel or some amalgam of metals combined to achieve the right silvery look. Silver’s color is also seen in the flashes of a mountain stream on a sunny day and glimmers in an icicle. You could say that the color of silver is that of pure light. The Gospel of John begins, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life
The Colors of Christmas – Blue

The Colors of Christmas – Blue

Christmas, Encouragment
Christmas is a color-filled season. The landscape has changed from the vibrant red, yellow, and orange of fall to the stark greys and browns of early winter. The hours of daylight grows less and less as we inch towards the new year and the deep freeze of January. But just before things become too bleak we celebrate Christmas with the bright colors of green, red, silver, and gold. Homes are decorated with light. Evergreen trees are hung with memories. Traditions are brought out of the attic and scattered around the house. Garlands of ribbon and pine grace doorways and windows. Before we explore the colors of red, green, gold, and silver we must recognize one other color of the season - blue. For some blue is symbolic of winter, frost, and snow. Some Christian traditions see blue as a...
Christmas: Affirmation

Christmas: Affirmation

Christmas, Encouragment
Our view of Chrismas and the events at Bethlehem are often more like a snapshot instead of the slow unfolding of what really happened. We cram and compress events that occurred over several years into one day, one moment in time.  Several years ago Hollywood set out to make a realistic film about Christmas. They included the community discomfort and anger over Mary’s pregnancy, the difficult decision of Joseph, the long and perilous journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem. They followed Luke’s narrative about the shepherds. But then departed from their attempt at historical accuracy and had the Magi arrive at the stable so they could end with a Christmas card scene of the nativity. Welcome to our fifth and final Advent article for 2016. Over the past month, we’ve looked forward to the Christ
Christmas: Jubilation

Christmas: Jubilation

Christmas, Encouragment
For many folks, Christmas season is not a joyous time. The stress of buying the “right” gift causes frustration. The bickering and arguing over the scheduling nightmare of getting everyone together causes headaches and heartaches. Relationship issues may strain the holiday as old wounds are revisited and reopened. Some are just plain blue because of loved ones lost, there is a hole at the table as well as a hole in their heart. Joy and jubilation may seem to be impossible. Yet, the Christmas story invokes and invites jubilation and joy. Welcome to our fourth Advent article. We have so far looked the declaration of the angels, the mystery of the incarnation, and the immediate response of adoration. This week we look at jubilation in the worship of the angels and the shepherds. Luke re
Christmas – Adoration

Christmas – Adoration

Christmas, Encouragment
Christmas gifts aren’t all their cracked up to be. We’ve all given or received gifts out of routine or tradition. Like the can of nuts that was hastily wrapped for some grab bag. Gifts can be given because they are expected,  because of manipulation or to manipulate, because of tradition, or given to express our true feelings of love, joy, and adoration. This advent season we’re looking at five words that express something about the Christmas story. Our first word was declaration and looked at the angelic announcements. The second word was the mystery and majesty of incarnation. This week we look at the word adoration and how it fits into the story of Christmas. Luke tells us that the shepherds left their flocks to search out the newborn in the stable. “So they came in a hurry and fo
Christmas: Incarnation

Christmas: Incarnation

Christmas, Encouragment
Magic and mystery are intertwined with Christmas. Even on the secular side of things, there are reindeer that fly, a magical being that gives gifts to all, and a snowman that walks, talks, and plays. The greatest mystery, however, is not how reindeer can fly or how Santa can visit everyone in one night but that a baby was born. This Advent we’re looking at five words that describe the events of Christmas. Last week we began with the word declaration and examined the angelic proclamations in the Gospel accounts. This week we take up the word incarnation. Incarnation is a theological word that describes a concept found in the Bible. It’s like the words Trinity and rapture which, like incarnation, are not in the Biblical text but describe truths in the text. Incarnation is more than the
Christmas: Declaration

Christmas: Declaration

Christmas, Encouragment
The days have grown shorter. The air has turned a bit colder. The brilliant colors of fall have faded to the barrenness of winter. The year is nearly over. It’s somehow fitting that we encounter Christmas as one year fades and another one begins. In the bleakness of winter we are reminded of God’s promises and rekindle hope for the pages yet to be written. For the next five Thursdays Lambchow will be looking at Christmas in a slightly different way. Each week will focus the events of the Christmas story through five different lenses, five different words. Those words are declaration, incarnation, adoration, jubilation, and affirmation. Declaration The Christmas story unfolds in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke. In their retelling, we encounter three distinct times where God sent an angeli
The Christmas Bell

The Christmas Bell

Christmas
“Hello,” Matthew called out as he opened the door to his great-grandparents home. “Matty, Is that you?” Grandpa Lou called out. “What are you doing in town?” Matthew wandered through the kitchen where Grandma Leah was already working on supper and towards the living room where Grandpa sat watching one of his shows. “Sit down and tell me how many you knocked down today,” Grandpa said. “Let me call mom quick and I’ll be right there,” Matt replied. During football season the activity bus from Eureka would drop Matthew off in Goodfield. He’d then walk to one of his grandparents to phone home and let mom know where to pick him up. After a quick call home, Matthew sat down on the sofa with a plate of oatmeal cookies Grandma had handed him. “Sorry Grandpa, football is long over.” Matthew be
Christmas Rewind – Interview With a Shepherd – Parts 7 & 8

Christmas Rewind – Interview With a Shepherd – Parts 7 & 8

Christmas
Merry Christmas! For the past few Wednesdays we've been reposting a Christmas story called Interview With a Shepherd. Here is the final posting of our little story about Christmas. If you've missed the previous sections the whole story can be read at lambchow.com/2014/11/interview-shepherd/.  Also, be watching for a new Christmas story that will be posted mid-week called The Christmas Bell. Betty and I pray that your Christmas season is filled with love, light, joy, and hope. -The Search- “How is the meat?” Samuel asked. During our meal,  the other shepherds had shared their own experiences and feelings of that special night. I had a thousand questions. How many angels? Why announce to shepherds and magi, why not to the High Priest? Why is this baby special? You get the idea. After th