Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day

The Jews celebrate a day called Yom Kippur which is an annual event. When this day falls on the weekly Sabbath, I have been told that they would call it a high day in Zion (up for correction if anyone can assist). Well today was pretty strange, as Christmas fell on the Sabbath. First off, there is no biblical evidence or anything outside of the this record to suggest that Jesus was born on the 25th of December and secondly, there is no instruction to celebrate the day he was born. It is not my intention to dampen your spirits, but today was pretty cool because most stores were shut, and I noticed our neighbour churches holding services today to celebrate this very event. I thought that was awesome, and imagined what if society was like this every week? Everyone going to worship for the sake of Christ, family-and-friend-focussed, no business transactions, gift-giving and receiving and so much more that I cant' even think right now to mention. Life would be so God-intended........but unfortunately, in a privileged country like mine, secularism, and the utopian world of worldly success has prevented this from happening. But it could start with this minor change.....just once a week, why not? It works, there is unsubstantiated stats that suggest that married orthodox christians who attend church regularly, pray together regularly, and other such -activities, have a 2-3% divorce rate. That was in 1999 and it sounds pretty bizarre considering the divorce rates but it definitely validates something about the weekly ritual. I could back that, because my wife and I would never divorce..............I suppose we're Orthodox Christians?

Today our service at church was like a family worship time we would have at home. Our assigned preacher hadn't turned up (due to a miscommunication) but we had a young minister and his wife visiting from Perth WA. I was responsible for running the service so I asked him to see if he had a sermon up his sleeve, at which he was keen and able. It was a short sermon which challenged us to be real with Christ, and he topped it off with a touching song accompanied by; his wife, Janine (one of the girls from my church) and myself who was roped in too.

After this we cruised up to the in-laws. And we had an enjoyable lunch and chit-chat with everyone. Every year the in-laws get Christmas, and my folks and family do new years together. It's an agreement we've all accepted and new years is a pretty big deal in my family. I quite enjoy it, but that's another blog.

The only present I received was a pancake maker from my supervisor at work. And it looks like our family are going to have a lot of fun with it too. Lots of chocolates have been received too. (Uh oh, refer to "What's your new years resolution?" blog). But I realise I'm not really expectant of gifts from anyone (so don't feel obliged if you know me). Today I'm thankful for the Sabbath, I'm thankful that my neighbours are laughing, and the kids are playing. I'm extremely thankful that I don't have to just remember that Jesus came the first time as a little baby, cradled in a manger, in a ward fall of animals, grew up in a humble home, clothed in simple clothing, and surrounded by fisherman. He beat sin and Satan as a human, was humiliated and murdered by a throng of people he loved and died on the cross with thieves. He rose though, and when he comes again He is coming with a crown on His head, riding on a cloud with an army of angels. That's all I need to get by and it's the best gift ever.

I hope you had a good Sabbath Christmas, I did!