Christmas Hijacked: Peace Love & Joy

   Yes, Christmas in the so called developed world has been hijacked, by longer than anyone alive can remember.

   This may be a shocker, but Christmas is not ABOUT family, though predominantly it is a time work and career scheduling typically, but not as much, allows for long weekends off work to gather with friends and family to feast, give gifts and make merry.
   Secondly, Christmas isn't about buying gifts for eachother, but within reason, we can purchase gifts if finances permit, but how about without the media and social pressure to do so? In this case, it is common knowledge that television and radio networks and sponsors, which oobviously are retail and every other aspect of the stock market, depend on money we have and even DON'T have. (Will that be cash or credit?"
   Thirdly, this may be another shocker. While we're frenzied buying gifts and food, and traveling to see loved ones who we miss, the rest of the world, particularly Africa and the middle east, are having a field day with their Muslim populations literally hanging Christians on crosses and killing them in countless other ways of torture and death. After all, Jesus is the reason Christians exist, and Jesus is the reason for Christmas. Or is Jesus just an excuse to have happy holidays? Have you told anyone to not buy you a gift and their love is enough?
   Please don't see this as a downer in any way. I'm merely about to point out something I do not recall hearing or reading before. And I'd like to mention what can't be stressed enough: remember the real reason for Christmas. And pray for all of our fellow Christian brothers and sisters who are suffering real genuine persecution as we celebrate Jesus's birth. I know December 25 has different origins and nothing to do with the real date of the savior's real birthday. But it is the day the world agreed on to celebrate, except the Russian Orthodox, who celebrate a few weeks later.
   And finally, my fourth point is simply to go a little further from the birth of our savior Christ child, and learn of His before, after and everlasting life He has offered to us. It's all in the Bible. In fact, I'll leave you with the best online free Bible website link that I know of. And here's a start with the birth of Jesus.
God bless you, and merry Christmas!

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 whilea Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3And everyone went to their 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 guest room available for them.

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 that will cause great joy for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, 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 heaven,
and on earth peace to those 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.

21On the eighth day, when it was time to circumcise the child, he was named Jesus, the name the angel had given him before he was conceived.

Jesus Presented in the Temple

22When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23(as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”b), 24and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”c

25Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:

29“Sovereign Lord, as you have promised,
you may now dismissd your servant in peace.
30For my eyes have seen your salvation,
31which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32a light for revelation to the Gentiles,
and the glory of your people Israel.”
33The child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about him. 34Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: “This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against, 35so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

36There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37and then was a widow until she was eighty-four.e She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying. 38Coming up to them at that very moment, she gave thanks to God and spoke about the child to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.

39When Joseph and Mary had done everything required by the Law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee to their own town of Nazareth. 40And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was on him.

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