Christmas: Where It Came From and How to Deal With It?

DPTD from Dave Redick, Hwy 20 Church of Christ, Sweet Home, Oregon.

Reading: Matthew 1:18-25)



Ted Engstrom told the following story:

            In May of 1979, Pat Moore,

            opened the door of her New York apartment

            and stepped nervously into the hall.

She appeared to be about eighty-five years old,

            walking carefully, hesitantly, with her cane

            and then slowly, and awkwardly

                        began to go down stairs

                        while holding the railing with her other hand

When she got to the bottom of the stairs,

            she met her landlady who exclaimed,

            "Oh, I'm sorry, I was expecting somebody else."

"Don't you recognize me?" asked Pat,

            her voice was strained and cracked.

"No, ma'am, I don't," said the landlady,

                        staring at the frail woman.

            "I'm Pat Moore," she said laughing.

As her landlady's mouth opened in disbelief,

            Pat knew she had passed the test.


You see Pat Moore was not eighty-five years old at all.

            Not even close.

She was an attractive twenty-six-year-old

            a specialist in industrial design

            who was concerned about the needs of the elderly.


At least once each week for the next three years,

            Pat put on her disguise

                        of facial latex foam,

                        a heavy fabric that bound her body,

                        and a convincing gray wig.

She visited fourteen states as an elderly woman.

            She met hundreds of people

            who never discovered her true identity.

Pat Moore wanted a first hand experience

            of what it was like to be aging in America.


Nearly two thousand years ago when God sent His Son

            from the throne of glory in heaven

            to be born in a stable in Bethlehem

            in a way, it was the SAME KIND of journey.


Phil 2:6-7  says about Jesus Christ, the Son of God,

He gave up

            being "in the form of God,"

He gave up

            "equality with God"

He actually

            7 ... "emptied Himself,"

He took

            "the form of a bond-servant,"

                         that is, the form of a slave

He was

            "made in the likeness of men."

8 And being found in appearance as a man,

            He humbled Himself

            by becoming obedient to the point of death,

            even death on a cross.


Now Jesus didn't do that just to find out

            what it was LIKE to be human.

He knows everything,

            so that wasn't necessary.


Instead, He did it so we could know what God is like.

            and more especially,

            so we could know God

He did it so we could know

            how to be like God,

            and how to have our sins washed away.

God's Son took on human flesh

            and came to walk among us.


At this time of the year many celebrate Jesus' birth

            in the holiday we call Christmas.

I suppose all of us,

            observe Christmas in some way,

                        if not as the specific birthday of Christ,

                        at least as a family holiday.


Christmas means different things to different people.

Probably many would say

            it's one of the most POSITIVE holidays we have.


For some,

            Christmas is the HAPPIEST time of the year.


It's thought of as a TIME OF PEACE.

            Warring armies have stopped fighting

                        on Christmas day.

            Hostages have been allowed

                        to receive cards and gifts.


It's associated with gladness and warmth,

            a time to relax

                        in happiness and good will.

            when friends mix and mingle,

                        exchange gifts

                        send cards of greeting,

            It is a time for families and memories.

                        Like the song says,

                        "I'll be home for Christmas,"


I suppose we all enjoy such movies as

            "It's a Wonderful Life"

            and Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"

                        with it's lessons from Ebenezer Scrooge

                        Bob Crachet and crippled "tiny Tim"


For many it is bright lights and tinsel

            and the wonder in children's eyes.

It's the glowing log in the fireplace,

            and presents under the tree.

It's street-corner caroling.

            It's also a greater awareness

                        of lonely souls without homes and families.

It's a long line at the post office

            with packages for distant destinations.

It's children crowded into the family car

            on the way to Grandma's for dinner.

It's hugging and shaking hands

            with cousins and aunts and uncles.

For many people,

            Christmas is a mailbox full of greeting cards,

            tempting aromas