No, Christmas didn’t replace a pagan holiday

The Best Thing I Ever Heard About Christmas

“What is the best thing I ever heard about Christmas?  How can anyone adequately answer that question?  The best music ever written was written for Christmas.  The best art mankind ever produced pays homage to that holy night.”

 

The Best Thing I Ever Heard About Christmas

By Mario Murillo

What is the best thing I ever heard about Christmas?  How can anyone adequately answer that question?  The best music ever written was written for Christmas.  The best art mankind ever produced pays homage to that holy night.

It has moved writers…yea, it has seized them.  Billions of words have been consecrated to it.  When reason screams “don’t write anymore!” Christmas moves the foolhardy to write again—to find that fresh meaning—about the most repeated story in history.

The power of Christmas turns children into righteous grownups.  Then it turns righteous grownups back into children.

A testament to its glory is the cosmic grudge Satan bears against Christmas.  He never leaves it alone.  He must commercialize it.  In one instance—he grew so desperate to harm it—he had it banned in England through misguided ministers.  They thought it was carnal!  The London Times didn’t mention Christmas for 10 years!

Then in 1843, Charles Dickens wrote the story of Scrooge and Christmas was back.  Here—from the story—is one of the best descriptions of Christmas ever:

 “But I am sure I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round — apart from the veneration due to its sacred name and origin, if anything belonging to it can be apart from that — as a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”

However, no musician, no orator, and no artist, no writer (including Dickens), can touch the best thing I ever heard about Christmas.

The reason is simple.  The words I will refer to were forged in heaven by God Himself.  It was a note sent on ahead to explain what He meant by sending His son to earth.

“He tenderly crafted what should be said.  Then God did what every good writer must do—He made it concise.  He compressed an eternity of meaning into short, simple phrases.”

He tenderly crafted what should be said.  Then God did what every good writer must do—He made it concise.  He compressed an eternity of meaning into short, simple phrases.

Then he chose messengers whom He solemnly charged to speak these matchless words.  Relive with me that night when the best words ever spoken about Christmas were given to man.

Luke 2: 8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:  14 “Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

Christmas says “do not be afraid of the supernatural!”   The angels knew humans are terrified at the appearance of angels.  Fear not!  It is a normal part of the life of the righteous to see signs and wonders.

Don’t be afraid of needing miracles.  Don’t be startled by the way God answers your prayers.

Don’t let the package fool you.  Don’t let the fierceness of evil discourage you.  The mission will not be thwarted.

Not only is the supernatural normal—it is good news!  When the Holy Spirit begins to act in a sedate church, the pastor should recognize that it is not an emotional thing—not a heretical thing—but a glorious thing.  It is a takeover that will push the work of God forward.  Miracles are not a menace.  They are the perfect solution.

This will be to all people.  Christmas will not stop until it has achieved its goal.  Nothing can stop the march of the Son of God.  Don’t let the package fool you.  Don’t let the fierceness of evil discourage you.  The mission will not be thwarted.  The Kingdom of this world will become the Kingdom of our God and of His Christ.  And He shall reign forever and ever.

“Christmas has never been convenient.  It never asks for an appointment.  It barges in and pulls you into the dance.  It grabs you by the soul and sets it to singing.” 

This child is the perfect gift from God to you.  God has given you His best.  He has come because of your need.   Here is the absolute answer to mankind’s curse.  This cure has no side effects.  This solution does not miss the mark.  It is for you from someone who totally knows you.

Break out in Joy! Use joy as a weapon. Use joy for renewed strength.  Let joy do its job.  Don’t restrain joy because of the evil around you.  Release joy because of the evil around you.

Christmas has never been convenient.  It never asks for an appointment.  It barges in and pulls you into the dance.  It grabs you by the soul and sets it to singing.  It is not that you can’t fight Christmas…it’s that you shouldn’t!  That is the best thing I ever heard about Christmas.   Merry Christmas.

Now check out the video my son filmed of a Christmas Village I built

 

2016 Murillo Christmas Village Video

 

I don’t golf. I don’t collect cars.  So, I learned how to make a village that told the story of Scrooge.  I hope you enjoy my little village video and the pictures.

In 1843, Dickens was the most famous writer in England.  Early that year, he made a strange request.  “Show me the most horrible parts of London.”  He set out with a guide late one night.  He thought he had steeled himself for what he might see. But nothing could have prepared him for the unbridled horror of seeing abandoned children living like animals in sub zero weather.

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Scarred for life, Dickens vowed he would strike a “sledge-hammer blow . . . on behalf of the Poor Man’s Child.”   He penned a tract entitled An appeal on behalf of the poor man’s child.

When and how the miracle happened is a matter of debate.  Many say that God gave Dickens a special message.  God told him his pamphlet would only have a limited impact but an original story would have endless impact.

Thus he created the sledge—hammer:  A Christmas Carol.

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The following are excerpts for Charles Dickens info.com

It only took Dickens about six weeks to write A Christmas Carol.  Tiny Tim and Bob Cratchit helped speed up the process.  When Dickens wrote he “saw” his characters much like the way that young Ebenezer Scrooge saw the characters from the books he had read.  As Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol he said that the Cratchits were “ever tugging at his coat sleeve, as if impatient for him to get back to his desk and continue “the story of their lives”.

“Old Marley was as dead as a door-nail.”   This line appears toward the beginning of the novel.  Dickens included this because of a dream.  He had dreamt that one of his good friends was pronounced to be “as dead Sir . . . as a door-nail”.

The Cratchit family is based on Dickens’ childhood home life. He lived in poor circumstances in a “two up two down” four roomed house which he shared with his parents and five siblings. Like Peter Cratchit, young Charles, the eldest boy, was often sent to pawn the family’s goods when money was tight. Like many poor families, the Cratchits had nothing in which to roast meat. They relied on the ovens of their local baker which were available on Sundays and Christmas when the bakery was closed.

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A Christmas Carol was first published in 1843.  Initially six thousand copies of the book were printed.  More copies were ordered after the first printing was sold in only five days.

Why does the story of Scrooge impact me so deeply?  First, it gives me—as well as most who have heard the story—a deep need to help the poor.

 

However, it hits me just as hard in another way.  It shows the power of creativity with a cause.  It shows us that we can be original without softening the blow of truth.  It shows us that God can deliver a sledge hammer to a corrupt culture in ways we never imagined.

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Scrooge rebukes cowardly Christian celebrities who can’t declare the whole counsel God and think it they are being creative when they hide truth.

Scrooge is also a spanking to the lazy preachers who refuse to press in and find a fresher way to deliver timeless truth.  We are not supposed to give out the truth like a cold plate of stale food.

Scrooge reminds us that God stands ready to give us power to pierce a culture with new weapons that are both fresh and effective.

 

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