All I Want for Christmas

"All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth."                                         

 

So began the song written by Donald Yetter Gardner, a music teacher, in 1944. It was published for the first time in 1948. There have been many humorous parodies of the song written since that time. One of the more famous records was that of Spike Jones and His City Slickers. Many of my more “mature” readers will remember that one.

My younger readers may remember it being sung by the cast of  Sesame Street.

The little boy (or girl) who sang the song had lost his front teeth, as all children do at some stage. The child was upset because he could not pronounce the words ” Merry Christmas” correctly , due to a lisp caused by the missing teeth.

One can understand the child voicing his legitimate “want”, because it limited his ability to express a happy greeting to others. He wanted to “give something”.

However it set me thinking! We are very good at expressing our “wants”, but how do these compare with our “needs”.

Christmas can be a time of over-indulgence in many ways. There is an expectation, particularly among children, to “get” presents; Play stations, Nintendos, Wii and the like. Expensive presents! And we as parents and grandparents must take the blame for creating that expectation.

I am always challenged, at times like these, to think more than ever of those millions around the world, who do not even have the basics for survival such as water, food, clothing and shelter.

I would like to introduce you to my favourite Charity,  Samaritans Purse .  They work in areas of need in  over 100 countries and have offices in Australia, USA and the UK. Please click on the link above and also watch this video.

Jesus’ Birth

If you are thinking (as unfortunately many do), “What has this got to do with Christmas?”, may I urge you to investigate the true meaning of Christmas. It is not about having a holiday, giving and receiving of gifts, partying and over-indulgence in food and drink.

      

       A Pastors Thoughts:

While I was writing this article, my Wife read to me an article in the ” Good Weekend Magazine” dated 4 December 2010, an insert in ” The Age” newspaper in Melbourne, Australia. The article is a record of an interview with Children’s Pastor Linda Greenwood of Sylvania Anglican Church in Sydney, Australia.

After out-lining her work among children in the Church and the activities over the Christmas period, she made the following comment.

” As a Christian, I find Christmas Day quite an empty day after all the church things are over. The rest of it leaves me quite cold, though, don’t get me wrong, I buy my kids presents as well. If people aren’t celebrating the birth of Christ, then what are they celebrating? Why are they going out and spending heaps of money for this particular day? It’s a puzzle to me. When children ask me if there is a Santa Claus, I say that Santa Claus and presents and trees and turkeys and all that are what we do to celebrate the reason for Christmas. I bring it back to the Gospel” (Linda Greenwood).

       A challenging illustration:

I am reminded of a story I heard many years ago in a sermon.

A father and son were in a room together. The father was trying do some important work related to his job, but his son was making a noise and kept disturbing him. The father remembered he had a jig-saw puzzle of the world in a cupboard. He pulled it out and gave it to his son to put together. He thought this would keep the boy occupied for a long time and allow him to get on with his work. Much to his surprise the boy completed the jig-saw in a relatively short time.

” How did you manage to put it together so quickly asked the puzzled father?”

“It was easy!” replied the son. “I discovered there was a picture of a man on the other side. I realised that if I got the man right then the world would be right” .

       The Christmas messageThe True meaning of Christmas.

God saw what a mess man had made of himself and God’s creation. He sent Jesus His only Son. He came to make the man right so that the world could be right.

Christmas is the time of year when we remember the small Child, who was born in a barn, to a teenage mother who was living in a war-torn, occupied country, embroiled in turmoil and fear. Like many in our world today.

Read the New Testament, Luke 1:26-38 and Luke 2:1-20, for the record of these events.

That Child became a man, Jesus of Nazareth, whose connectedness to his family, his community and to all people, was nourished by the Spirit of His Father, the Creator God, within Him. The love He lived and preached for the poor, the dispossessed, the marginalised, is the focus of this time of year.

He came to be our Saviour, to make us right. ( John 3:16).

Whether He becomes your Saviour, is a personal choice we each need to make. (John 1:12)

I pray that as you, my reader, ponder the true meaning of Christmas you will come to know Jesus personally.

If you would like to investigate further what it means to become a Christian, I would highly recommend the book below by John Stott.

833570: Basic Christianity: 50th Anniversary Edition Basic Christianity: 50th Anniversary Edition
By John Stott / IVP BooksIn 2006, Christianity Todayvoted this title to be one of the top 50 books that have shaped evangelicals!Who is Jesus?”If Jesus was not God in human flesh, Christianity is exploded,” writes John Stott. “We are left with just another religion with some beautiful ideas and noble ethics; its unique distinction has gone.”If Jesus is not who he said he was, and if he did not do what he said he had come to do, the whole superstructure of Christianity crumbles in ruins to the ground. Is it plausible that Jesus was truly divine? And what might this mean for us?John Stott’s clear, classic statement examines the historical facts on which Christianity stands. Here is a sound, sensible guide for all who seek an intellectually satisfying explanation of the Christian faith.

Have a safe, loving and blessed Christmas, and may 2012 bring you peace, good health and joyful surprises.

Doctor Bill

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