...And called his name JESUS - The Christmas Story

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…And called his name, JESUS.

Matthew 1:25, Luke 1:31, 2:21



What does Christmas mean to you?


In brief, this is what Christmas means to me.


Christmas is a very special time for Christians because we recognize and remember the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. A Savior who would redeem us from sin and show us the way to obtain eternal life. One reason I think we give gifts to one another in the spirit of giving is because the wise men brought Jesus gifts when he was born, maybe like a birthday present.
The greatest gift of all was when God sent forth His Son, made of a woman (Gal 4:4) and born of a virgin, that through Jesus we could see the love of God manifested and feel the warmth of His love, His mercy and His grace in our hearts.

At Christmas time I think of frost, a stable, sleigh bells, carols, shepherds and sheep, angels, snowball fights, presents, pine trees, family gatherings & friends, a break from school and a lot of other traditions and fun things. When I think of the Christmas story, I remember the wonderful name of Jesus that was given to a newborn baby boy.

“Thous shalt call his name JESUS”

…And called his name, JESUS.

Matthew 1:25, Luke 1:31, 2:21

It makes me realize that I could never ask for anything more, that I would be counted worthy to receive such a gift as Gods only begotten Son, and to be included as a child of God. I give thanks, honor and glory to the Father for such a perfect and precious gift. A little baby boy who through the fullness of time, is leading his people safely home as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I realize I need a Savior because there are some things I just can’t do on my own.
This brings me tidings of comfort and joy and I think that is what Christmas means to me.
Christmas to me is a unique time for giving and forgiving, for Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.



While there were no rooms for Jesus in the Inn, the innkeeper offered a gift of a stable for Mary and Joseph to rest. It was a warm safe place for Jesus to be born. It reminds me of the time when I first gave my heart to Jesus and made room for Him.

There is a post around here somewhere by Juantoo3, that speaks of how God gave us the gift of life and in return we offer our life back to God as a gift.
{What we are, is God's gift to us, what we make of ourselves is our gift to God}
I think deep inside this is what God really wants.



Over the next couple of weeks, I thought it would be nice to discuss the Christmas story once again, starting with the prophecy of Isaiah and taking another peek at the story as told by Luke from chapters 1 and 2.
As time permits, we can look at Matthew, if you want to, and the other scriptures that tell us about the birth of Jesus.
I wanted to wait until Lunamoth gets back before starting. I hope she will find our discussion pleasant & be back in our company soon.

Giving special thanks to Brian and all the moderators for allowing us the opportunity to do this here at CR. Everyone is invited to celebrate with us, even if you celebrate it differently.
I pray this will be a blessing for everyone as we remember the things that tell us Christmas is here, while gathering together around the manger in Bethlehem at the very first Christmas.:)



Special times, Carols and memories that you like to recall?
XmGrn7.gif


What does Christmas mean to you?
 
Isaiah

9:6-7

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.



Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.



Just prior to the following passage in Luke, we see a similar event with Zacharias and his wife Elisabeth concerning the conception and birth of John the Baptist.



Luke

1:23- 31

And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.

And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,

Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary.

And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.



And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.



And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. :)
 
Christmas is the annual reminder of who we could be.

Our elder brother and wayshower lived a life to be emulated.

If you are going to spend time in the wilderness or desert, learn from it.

When encountering tough decisions, set down and doodle in the sand, look within and find answers that are divine.

Speak your truth, couch it in parables if you must, but speak your truth.

Realize your connection in all humanity, and that harming another is harming yourself.

Realize your connection with source, find your spirit within, and rejoice in knowing we are one.

Find those 12 from various walks of life so we can all work togther with our various skills and traits to achieve more.

It is knowing that when I was born that light of Christ was born with me, it is up to me to make it glow. And I get a bi annual reminder, to allow it to be born again and/or resurrected.

Namaste (the Christ in me salutes and recognizes the Christ in you)
 
wil said:
Christmas is the annual reminder of who we could be.

Our elder brother and wayshower lived a life to be emulated.

If you are going to spend time in the wilderness or desert, learn from it.

When encountering tough decisions, set down and doodle in the sand, look within and find answers that are divine.

Speak your truth, couch it in parables if you must, but speak your truth.

Realize your connection in all humanity, and that harming another is harming yourself.

Realize your connection with source, find your spirit within, and rejoice in knowing we are one.

Find those 12 from various walks of life so we can all work togther with our various skills and traits to achieve more.

It is knowing that when I was born that light of Christ was born with me, it is up to me to make it glow. And I get a bi annual reminder, to allow it to be born again and/or resurrected.

Namaste (the Christ in me salutes and recognizes the Christ in you)

Nice post. Thanks for the 2005 kick off.:)

i think it is a yearly reminder of who we can be also. I see Jesus as my big brother & quite often as a friend who sticks closer than a brother. i like the bi annual reminder the same way. i think even better.
born, born again & resurrected.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

Wil, I hope this season treats you well & you find all that you will ever need in Christ.:)
 
Bandit said:
Nice post. Thanks for the 2005 kick off.:)

i think it is a yearly reminder of who we can be also. I see Jesus as my big brother & quite often as a friend who sticks closer than a brother. i like the bi annual reminder the same way. i think even better.
born, born again & resurrected.

When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

Wil, I hope this season treats you well & you find all that you will ever need in Christ.:)

Christmas is a month long. It is watching people mellow out, and doing things they normally don't do. The best part of Christmas is not on Christmas day, but during the days before. People speak softer, change from the pocket flows easier, people listen closer. It is the music, and the dancing and the laughter. People pray more intensely.

It is the promise of a new beginning, a new hope.

It is a time of going out of one's way for someone else. Hell, it literally stopped a war for a day (back in the teens of the twentieth century...).

Germans threw a turkey (or a Goose), instead of a bomb, and the brits threw drink back. They all ended up playing soccer in "no man's land", for the day (much to the Generals' chagrin).

Christmas makes time stand still, and we hold our breath. Children and lovers' eyes dance with firelight.

Promise is in the air.

Lonely people and those at work find others who seek them out and bring cheer.

Christmas...is magical, in the purest sense, because we all behave a bit better then usual. And for a moment...we love everyone. ;)

my thoughts

v/r

Q
 
Hey Bandit, thank you for starting this thread!

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

I love this quote from Isaiah. I see so much in there, our relationship with God as Father, the promise of peace, and (to me) the whole Trinity is there.

(Please let's not start a whole debate about the Trinity--just sharing my beliefs here).

I'm looking forward to making a longer contribution once I get a few more boxes unpacked. :p

peace in this glorious season,
lunamoth
 
It is a time when we all can become "Magi". We have "gifts" to bear, and there are those who could use our "gifts". Many verses come into play at this time, though we don't realize it. What you do to others, you do to me, comes immediately to mind...

That is the true continuation of the Christmas Story. There is after all Christ in all of us...He said so.

Has anyone really pondered what that means? The ramifications are enormous! Not just the world, not just the country, not just the state, not just the city, or town, or village, not just the household, but the individual, the wife, or the husband, the child. The neighbor next door, or the "bum" in the alley. The waitress, the mayor, the cop on the beat. The folk sleeping or working in the soup kitchen, hell, the kid cashier at Walmart. All those we take for granted, or take for lost...

We have gifts for these of God. And we don't even realize it. They have need, and they don't realize it, or they've given up, and we have hardened our hearts.

I find it ironic that the potentially warmest time in a human heart is during the coldest time of the year. Maybe that is God's good sense of humor kicking in. Or maybe the hottest fire is infact cold indifference...

Well we each can change that, just a little bit.

my thoughts

v/r

Q
 
lunamoth said:
Hey Bandit, thank you for starting this thread!



I love this quote from Isaiah. I see so much in there, our relationship with God as Father, the promise of peace, and (to me) the whole Trinity is there.

(Please let's not start a whole debate about the Trinity--just sharing my beliefs here).

I'm looking forward to making a longer contribution once I get a few more boxes unpacked. :p

peace in this glorious season,
lunamoth

well, i am surely not going to start a debate on the trinity & what Christmas means to you, or the Christmas story.
hurry up & unpack, i am looking forward to a pleasant time.
peace to you also:)
 
Quahom1 said:
We have gifts for these of God. And we don't even realize it. They have need, and they don't realize it, or they've given up, and we have hardened our hearts.

I find it ironic that the potentially warmest time in a human heart is during the coldest time of the year. Maybe that is God's good sense of humor kicking in. Or maybe the hottest fire is infact cold indifference...

Well we each can change that, just a little bit.

my thoughts

v/r

Q

i remember one of the elders at church telling me we must have contrast & he pointed to an evergreen with snow on it & said "look". i was young & that did not sink in until years later. i remember someone else telling me it is a time for growing inwardly & that made no sense, except for growing outwardly because of all the food & cookies.
then like you say the coldest time of year is when hearts are the warmest & that is contrast.:)



Quahom1 said:
Christmas is a month long. It is watching people mellow out, and doing things they normally don't do. The best part of Christmas is not on Christmas day, but during the days before. People speak softer, change from the pocket flows easier, people listen closer. It is the music, and the dancing and the laughter. People pray more intensely.

It is the promise of a new beginning, a new hope.

It is a time of going out of one's way for someone else. Hell, it literally stopped a war for a day (back in the teens of the twentieth century...).

Germans threw a turkey (or a Goose), instead of a bomb, and the brits threw drink back. They all ended up playing soccer in "no man's land", for the day (much to the Generals' chagrin).

Christmas makes time stand still, and we hold our breath. Children and lovers' eyes dance with firelight.

Promise is in the air.

Lonely people and those at work find others who seek them out and bring cheer.

Christmas...is magical, in the purest sense, because we all behave a bit better then usual. And for a moment...we love everyone. ;)

my thoughts

v/r

Q

some good stuff here Q:) . it IS a season & not just one day & the best part is the season. i cant remember when i first realized that, but it seems the season starts when we allow it to start. i always hear people say "I am trying to get into the Christmas Spirit".
People do pray more & speak softer. I see a new beginning also & a reflection of the year & the years past.

i can remember some years at this time when it did seem lonely & i felt alone, but when i really looked i found people caring about each other & there was always someone who made it extra special.

one year we had no money at all & i felt bad because i knew we would have nothing to give & i think that can play the wrong way on us when we can give in so many ways. then my wife started baking hundreds & hundreds of cookies & we gave them as gifts and someone said, "you give the best gifts, the home made kind."

now everytime i get cookies or something home made, i remember that.:)
 
Good posts Q and Bandit. I like the warm hearts in cold snow metaphor. :)

Advent is also the time of the Christian year when we celebrate our anticipation of Christ's return (not very good phrasing there--help me out folks!). I'd like to put together some quotes about this as well when I have time, hopefully in the next week. However, if anyone else has contributions along these lines please jump on in!

cheers,
lunamoth
 
not sure which one you are talking about Luna. not real familiar with all the liturgy but i remember doing a hymn called, O come Emmanuel. i think that has some beautiful words & like to hear it best on pipe organ or acoustic guitar.
do you guys do that one?


O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appears


Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel

O come, thou rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan's tyranny
From depths of of hell thy people save
And give them vict'ry o'er the grave

O come, O Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by thine advent here
And drive away the shaves of night
And pierce the clouds and bring us light

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel

O come, Thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heavenly home
Make safe the way that leads on high
And close the path to misery

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might
Who to thy tribes, on Sinai's height
In ancient times did'st give the law
In cloud and majesty and awe

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee O Israel
 
I love this post and am grateful for it- it is so uplifting!

Christmas is my favorite time of year, for so many reasons. But I do believe the biggest reason is, as many pointed out, the spirit of Christ seems to be fanned to flame once again in the hearts of others, causing generosity, peace, love, and joy to be more freely distributed. People smile at each other, they give to charity, they spend time visiting with friends and family. It is truly a magical time.

I'm not usually a country fan, but Garth Brooks had a song about the war stopping on Christmas Eve and both sides singing Silent Night that brings tears to my eyes. There is such power in the spirit of Christ, such peace, such hope for humanity to move beyond its temporary trappings of greed and hurt and fear and move toward loving-kindness toward all beings.

There is something about the silence and smell and purity of new snow in the woods, the majesty of the mountains wreathed in winter, that somehow speaks in a whisper of the grace and might of God, His capacity to wash all ugliness away, of the beauty of all creation, of a hope for a better world.

Though the timing of Christmas is not authentic- it was altered to be around Winter Solstice- I think it is a perfect time to celebrate Christ's birth. For just as we approach the darkest day of the year, we find ourselves moving past it and into an ever-expansive period of light. At the same time we celebrate our Savior's birth, that God's divine light could be manifest in humanity and we might ourselves find faith in the light of God within us.

Peace and a verry Merry Christmas to us all,
Path
 
path_of_one said:
I love this post and am grateful for it- it is so uplifting!

Christmas is my favorite time of year, for so many reasons. But I do believe the biggest reason is, as many pointed out, the spirit of Christ seems to be fanned to flame once again in the hearts of others, causing generosity, peace, love, and joy to be more freely distributed. People smile at each other, they give to charity, they spend time visiting with friends and family. It is truly a magical time.

I'm not usually a country fan, but Garth Brooks had a song about the war stopping on Christmas Eve and both sides singing Silent Night that brings tears to my eyes. There is such power in the spirit of Christ, such peace, such hope for humanity to move beyond its temporary trappings of greed and hurt and fear and move toward loving-kindness toward all beings.

There is something about the silence and smell and purity of new snow in the woods, the majesty of the mountains wreathed in winter, that somehow speaks in a whisper of the grace and might of God, His capacity to wash all ugliness away, of the beauty of all creation, of a hope for a better world.

Though the timing of Christmas is not authentic- it was altered to be around Winter Solstice- I think it is a perfect time to celebrate Christ's birth. For just as we approach the darkest day of the year, we find ourselves moving past it and into an ever-expansive period of light. At the same time we celebrate our Savior's birth, that God's divine light could be manifest in humanity and we might ourselves find faith in the light of God within us.

Peace and a verry Merry Christmas to us all,
Path

Merry Christmas to you also, Path_of_one.:)
i have enjoyed your company this year emensly. I was thinking of how you mentioned the snow is pure when it first falls & how God has that capacity to wash all ugliness away & leaves us with hope for a better world. it is true for me.

i also like the way you mention the darkest day of the year in winter solstice & comparing that to Gods divine light manifested in humanity through the Savior.
Peace to you Path:) and good will to all men.
 
Beautiful post, Path of One. :)

Here's some more.
The Birth of Jesus

1In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2(This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to his own town to register.

4So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

The Shepherds and the Angels

8And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ[a] the Lord. 12This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
14"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."

15When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

16So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.

Talk about economy of writing! This can't be much more than 400 words but it is almost the entire Christmas story. I'll just kind of free associate on some of the things that I see reading it through this time:

Mary and Joseph are, in a way, aliens in town. She doesn't give birth in comfort and surrounded by family, but on the fringes of the town, precariously. There was no room for them, not quite outcasts, but already Jesus is associated with the marginalized and poor.

And I love it that the first to get the news from the angels are the shepherds, the most humble, also removed from the hub bub of the city. Better to see God's Glory lighting up the sky, I imagine. Not distracted by the glitter and baubles of town life. But best of all the comfort: Do not be afraid. I searched the phrase "do not fear" and it came up in Isaiah 9 times. Do not fear for I am with you, which is the heart of the birth of Christ story.

14"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."


And peace to you all too!
lunamoth
 
lunamoth said:
Good posts Q and Bandit. I like the warm hearts in cold snow metaphor. :)

Advent is also the time of the Christian year when we celebrate our anticipation of Christ's return (not very good phrasing there--help me out folks!). I'd like to put together some quotes about this as well when I have time, hopefully in the next week. However, if anyone else has contributions along these lines please jump on in!

cheers,
lunamoth

Advent is a bit off. Right now I just want to celebrate the miracle of hope, we are given each year at this time. "Lo a child is born, and it is a special child, for He is the key to our redemption..."

my thoughts

v/r

Q
 
Quahom1 said:
Advent is a bit off. Right now I just want to celebrate the miracle of hope, we are given each year at this time. "Lo a child is born, and it is a special child, for He is the key to our redemption..."

my thoughts

v/r

Q

HI Q, I'm confused by what you mean by 'Advent is a bit off.' The four weeks leading up to Christmas are called Advent, right?

Celebrating the miracle of hope right along with you, at any rate. :)

lunamoth
 
lunamoth said:
HI Q, I'm confused by what you mean by 'Advent is a bit off.' The four weeks leading up to Christmas are called Advent, right?

Celebrating the miracle of hope right along with you, at any rate. :)

lunamoth

Oh, hell, what am I thinking?...Lent, that is what I was thinking. Sorry, my bad.

v/r

Q
 
i love the part when the angels come & the shepherds come. i would just have loved to see the glory that was there when the angels appeared & the shepherds heard about Jesus being born. i mean these people had waited for so long & they were seeking the Messiah & were ready for him when he arrived.

then i see a two fold meaning because at the same time i was seeking for Jesus, he was seeking for me & He sought me before i ever knew him. The Almighty God reached down to me with that much love & made a way of escape through His only begotten Son, means so much to me.

& when i was young, i remember the Charlie Brown Christmas story & Linus would read from the book of Luke & even as a small child, i can look back & see where Jesus was reaching out to me with open arms.
As parents we are amazed at how much a child can learn & be aware, yet the children are young & do not realize how fast we grow up.

& there the shepherds would find the Christ child, wrapped in swadling clothes lying in a manger.:)
...And they called his name JESUS.

Though I knew Him not, still He loved me & He was seeking for me.
Wise men still seek Him today.:)
 
hey thanks Luna for putting that part of the story up. it moved me into a moment of silent prayer, with a heavy heart filled with comfort & joy.:)

i will put some more verses up from Luke soon as well.
 
Hi Luna.

it looks like you got the whole passage. the only one i can add is verse 21. the fulifillment of the prophecy, his name was called JESUS.

2:21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
I will be away until the New Year, so everyone have a good one & see ya then.
 
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