1349) Christmas Insights

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When we give each other Christmas gifts in His name, let us remember that He has given us the sun and the moon and the stars, and the earth with its forests and mountains and oceans; and all that lives and move upon them.  He has given us all green things and everything that blossoms and bears fruit, and all that we quarrel about and all that we have misused.  And to save us from our foolishness, from all our sins, He came down to earth and gave us Himself.  –Sigrid Unset, Norwegian novelist (1882-1949)

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When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time.  Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?  –G. K. Chesterton

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Christ was born in the first century, yet he belongs to all centuries.  He was born a Jew, yet He belongs to all races.  He was born in Bethlehem, yet He belongs to all countries.  –George W. Truett

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“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.
Maybe Christmas… perhaps… means a little bit more!” –Dr. Suess, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, 1957

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Despite the most earnest and vigorous efforts, it has proved impossible entirely to separate Christmas from Christianity.  –G. K. Chesterton  (1874-1936)

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I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys…  And so as Tiny Tim said:  “A merry Christmas to us all, my dears.  God bless us, every one.”  –Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

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Ask your children two questions this Christmas.  First: “What do you want to give to others for Christmas?”  Second:  “What do you want for Christmas?”  The first fosters generosity of heart and an outward focus.  The second can breed selfishness if not tempered by the first.  –Anonymous

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And, while on the topic of selfishness:  Christmas is the time when kids tell Santa what they want and adults pay for it.  Deficits are when adults tell government what they want and their kids pay for it.  –Richard Lamm

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How many observe Christ’s birthday, how few, his precepts!  O! ’tis easier to keep Holidays than Commandments.  –Benjamin Franklin

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Let the children have their night of fun and laughter.  Let the gifts of Father Christmas delight their play.  Let us grown-ups share to the full in their unstinted pleasures before we turn again to the stern task and the formidable years that lie before us, resolved that, by our sacrifice and daring, these same children shall not be robbed of their inheritance or denied their right to live in a free and decent world.  –Winston Churchill’s Christmas Eve Message, 1941, in the early years of World War II 

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It is here, in the thing that happened at the first Christmas, that the most profound unfathomable depths of the Christian revelation lie.  God became man;… the Almighty appeared on earth as a helpless human baby, unable to do more than lie and stare and wriggle and make noises, needing to be fed and changed and taught to talk like any other child…  The more you think about it, the more staggering it gets.  Nothing in fiction is so fantastic as this truth of the incarnation.  –James Packer

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A scientist, making a plea for exchange scholarships between nations, said “The very best way to send an idea is to wrap it up in a person.”  That was what happened at Christmas.  The idea of divine love was wrapped up in a Person.  –Halford Luccock

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A prison cell– in which one waits, hopes, and is completely dependent on the fact that the door of freedom has to be opened from the outside– is not a bad picture of Advent.  –Dietrich Bonhoeffer, writing from a Nazi prison in WWII

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One response was given by the innkeeper when Mary and Joseph wanted to find a room where the Child could be born.  The inn-keeper was not hostile; he was not opposed to them, but his inn was crowded; his hands were full; his mind was preoccupied.  This is the answer that millions are giving today.  Like a Bethlehem innkeeper, they cannot find room for Christ.  All the accommodations in their hearts are already taken up by other crowding interests.  Their response is not atheism.  It is not defiance.  It is preoccupation and the feeling of being able to get on reasonably well without Christ.  –Billy Graham
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John 3:16-17 — For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

John 1:10-12 — He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him.  He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.  Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.

II Corinthians 5:19 —  …God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself…

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Let every heart keep Christmas within. 

Christ’s pity for sorrow,
Christ’s hatred for sin,
Christ’s care for the weakest,
Christ’s courage for right.
Everywhere, everywhere, Christmas tonight!  

–Phillips Brooks

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