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Celebrating Christmas to the Fullest 真正的慶祝聖誕節

Merry Christmas! Jesus is the reason for the season. We want all of you to celebrate Christmas to the fullest. Therefore, we want to redeem what seems to be secular Christmas traditions and find its true meaning in Jesus Christ. Ultimately, the very reason we celebrate Christmas is because of John 3:16.

For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

  1. Santa Claus: What does Santa Claus have to do with Jesus? Although Santa Claus is not a real person, Nicholas of Bari is. He was born in AD 270 and was a strong believer in Jesus Christ and inspired the fictional character of Santa Claus. He loved Jesus so much that he became the bishop of Myra and demonstrated his love for Jesus by giving generously to needy people in secret. We can now teach our kids that although Santa is not real, the person that inspired this character is a faithful believer in Jesus and gave to others generously because of his love for Jesus. I believe his life verse to be: Matthew 6:3-4 But when you do your giving, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your gift may be in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.

  2. Christmas Tree: Some claim that Christmas trees are of pagan origins - pagans using evergreen trees as a means to ward off evil spirits. Yet the Old Testament paints a symbolic picture of the Messiah coming into this dark world in the form of a growing shoot: Isaiah 11:1 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse. This is what the Christmas tree symbolizes. Teach your kids that the tree represents the genealogy of Jesus Christ. God the Son coming down to earth to take part in human history forever. The tree starts with Adam and Eve at the bottom and branches up with Jesus Christ as the star on the top. Jesus is the brightest of all lights and brings hope to our dark world.

  3. Christmas Gifts: When we give our Christmas gifts, let us have the same mindset as God the Father. John 3:16 teaches us that God the Father gave what was most special to Him, His One and Only Son to save an evil world. We give not because others deserve our gifts. We give because we have first received from God what was most special to Him, His Son Jesus Christ. May Jesus, the gift that we have received, be the source and purpose for us being generous to others; whether they deserve it or not, because we certainly didn’t deserve Him.

聖誕快樂!耶穌是我們慶祝聖誕的緣由,我們希望大家都能真正的慶祝聖誕節。因此,我們要從世俗傳統的慶祝談起,並找回聖誕的真正意義─耶穌基督。最終,慶祝聖誕節的真正原因是因為約翰福音3:16:

神愛世人,甚至將他的獨生子賜給他們,叫一切信他的,不致滅亡,反得永生。

1. 聖誕老人:聖誕老人和耶穌有什麼關係?聖誕老人雖然不是真人,但尼古拉斯確真有此人。他出生於主後270年,堅心相信耶穌基督;他非常愛耶穌,並成為了邁拉地區的主教。他常在暗中慷慨贈與有需要的人,表達對耶穌的愛。這份愛的行動啟發了聖誕老人這樣的虛構人物。現在我們可以告訴我們的孩子,儘管聖誕老人並非真人,但啟發此角色者卻是耶穌忠心的門徒,他對耶穌的愛使他慷慨付出贈與。他的一生可用一節經文總結─馬太福音6:3-4─「你施捨的時候,不要叫左手知道右手所做的,要叫你施捨的事行在暗中。你父在暗中察看,必然報答你。」

2. 聖誕樹:有人聲稱聖誕樹源於異教徒,異教徒使用常綠樹來抵禦惡魔。然而舊約描繪了彌賽亞來到黑暗世界的象徵性畫面是從一根枝子所發的苗裔。以賽亞書11:1─「從耶西的本必發一條;從他根生的枝子必結果實。」這就是聖誕樹的象徵。教導孩子樹代表耶穌基督的家譜。神兒子降世,永遠參與人類的歷史。樹的底部是亞當和夏娃,最後樹頂端的星星就是耶穌基督。耶穌是所有燈中最亮的燈,為我們的黑暗世界帶來希望。

3. 聖誕禮物:當我們送出聖誕禮物時,讓我們擁有與父神相同的心。約翰福音3:16教導我們,父神送出祂最寶貴的獨生子,以拯救邪惡的世界。我們送禮物不是因為對方配得我們的禮物,我們送禮物是因為我們首先從上帝那裡得到了祂最寶貴的禮物─祂的兒子耶穌基督。願我們所收到的禮物─耶穌,成為我們慷慨待人的源泉和目的;不管他們是否配得,因為我們當然也不配得到祂。

Min. David Or 柯啟洋傳道~

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