Tuesday, December 6, 2011 7:01 AM
The True King: Video Insights for Christmas
http://click.lists.biblegateway.com/...8771672-ffcf14 http://image.lists.biblegateway.com/...ueKing-700.jpg Life and Ministry of the Messiah
In the first century King Herod had the third largest palace in the world. It was a massive structure, with fortified walls, a company of soldiers, and towers reaching one hundred feet in the air. If that wasnít enough, Herod also had the almost impenetrable fortress of Masada, and numerous other strongholds across Israel.
Determined to preserve his reign and bring about his vision for Israel, Herod undertook some of the largest construction projects in Israelís history. The ruins of those sites last to this day.
From Bethlehem Mary and Joseph would have been able to see Herodium, the hill upon which Herodís massive palace was built. His power was obvious everywhere and the promised king Jesus was a helpless baby.
Consider the faith it took then to say, like Mary, Joseph, the Shepherds, and the Magi, that Jesus was the true king and not Herod; even with evidence of Herodís might right outside the window. :carols:
Yet long ago God had promised Israel a king, and that Edom (the nation Herod descended from) would one day serve Jacob. And in the Christmas story we read the story of that coming King who would grow up to redeem the world on a Roman cross.
Tuesday, December 6, 2011 6:01 AM
Subject: Christmas Joy: "Joseph"
This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly. -Matthew 1:18-19
We know so little about Joseph. He is only mentioned in the birth and childhood stories of Jesus. He was named after an ancient patriarch who used his success in Egypt to save his family and a future nation. Joseph was a carpenter who lived in the town of Nazareth. His ancestors were from Bethlehem, so when a Roman ruler, Caesar Augustus, wanted a census, Joseph had to go back to Bethlehem, even though his wife was well along in her pregnancy.
The most important thing we know about Joseph is that when the time called, he displayed great faith and grace. He had found out that the woman he was engaged to be married to was pregnant. While Mary had the benefit of the an angel to explain her unique conception, Joseph had not been visited yet. All he had was Mary's word. So what was that conversation like? No, she hadn't slept with another man. Yes, she was pregnant. And yes, a spiritual being had told her that she would conceive by a unique act of God-and as though that wasn't enough-the child in her womb would be the Savior of the world.
Why did Joseph believe her? Why did he change his first plans to quietly divorce her so as not to expose her to public shame? (Engagements were so serious then, to break one off amounted to a divorce.) Why did he choose instead to take her as his wife-and then abstain from sexual relations with her until the birth of the child? If you were in his shoes, would you have believed Mary?
Here is something for all of us to think about at Christmas. Think of Joseph. Think of him looking into Mary's eyes, hearing her account, knowing in his heart of hearts it was true, and having the courage to act on that faith, even though he may have had doubts. As nonsensical as it seemed, he believed it. As much as the idea of a virginal conception violates both logic and science (even the rudimentary science of millennia ago), he knew it was possible with God. As risky as it was to stay with Mary and be branded by others as the hapless dupe of an immoral woman, Joseph decided to take that leap of faith.
That is true faith. It wasn't just that he trusted Mary; he trusted God. That God could; that God might; that God would.
Prayer for today:
God, give me Joseph's courage and iron-strong faith. Give me faith to believe that, at the birth of Jesus, you really did enter this world-my world-and you are still working powerfully in it.
With prayers for shalom, peace,
Christmas socks/ stockings
The tradition of the Christmas stockings began by a story told since ancient time about a kind noble man who had three daughters. The wife of the nobleman expired and the daughters and their father were left in a state of sorrow. The daughters had to do all the work in the house. When the daughters became young and eligible for marriage, the poor father could not afford to give the huge dowries to their husbands.
One evening the daughters, after washing their stockings hung them near the fire place to be dried. Santa Claus being moved by the plight of the daughters came in and put in three bags of gold one in each of the stocking hanging by the chimney. The next morning the family noticed the gold bags and the nobleman had enough for his daughterís marriage. The daughters got married and they lived happily ever after. Since then children have been hanging Christmas stockings
Christmas stockings are hung near the chimney on Christmas Eve for Santa Claus to fill it with goodies for the children. It is an empty sock or a bag that is given the shape of a sock. The children in United States and some other countries have been following this tradition of hanging a Christmas stocking, believing that Father Christmas will fill it with sweets and gifts for them. The items that are believed to be stuffed in the Christmas stocking by Santa Claus are known as stocking stuffers.
Mina, you need to stop over-posting and replying to your own posts/threads.
This is not a discussion, it's borderline spam. I'm closing this thread (still available to read for all forum members if they want to).