Monday, December 06, 2010

Every Knee Shall Bow

While grocery shopping at Stater Bros. late this afternoon, I decided to get some "Christmas" stamps. I asked the lady at the checkout stand if there were any "religious" stamps available. She said that the only ones they have were ones with pine tree branches and pine cones.

Hmmm...Winter solstice anyone?

The man behind me in line stated, "First they took Christ out of Christmas, now they are also taking the Christmas tree out!"

So true!

I remember the beautiful stamps from years ago that depicted Mary, the mother of Jesus with her Holy Babe in arms. Sigh...those were the days!

Speaking of Mary, this week's Turning Point T.V. Sunday service program was entitled "Why Mary?" It was wonderful!

Dr. David Jeremiah did a great job of pointing out how blessed Mary was to be chosen to bear the Messiah - Jesus Christ - without elevating her above where she belongs in that respect. As always, I highly recommend viewing the service at David

The little skit at the beginning of the program speaks about the controversy that goes on each year between the atheists/agnostics/skeptics (AAS) who hate Christmas displays (like the Nativity scene) and the Christian believers who want to keep Christ in Christmas.

I often think that those who wish to squelch the reality of our Savior entering into the world via the virgin birth in a manger in Bethlehem end up accomplishing just the opposite effect that they intended to do. More people are coming to Christ for salvation today than at any other time in history! The AAS's are in for a BIG surprise on the day that they will be face to face with the risen Savior, Jesus Christ!

They are free to reject Christ now - during the age of grace here on earth - but there is a day coming where EVERY knee shall bow before Jesus Christ.

Every knee shall bow - a Christian perspective
God is the creator and ruler of the universe. Everybody, whether they love God, resist Him, or ignore Him, will ultimately come face to face with His majesty, and will recognize Him for who He is.

Isaiah 45:23 (New International Version, ©2010)

23 By myself I have sworn,
my mouth has uttered in all integrity
a word that will not be revoked:
Before me every knee will bow;
by me every tongue will swear.

Every knee - a Christian perspective
Paul tells the Philippians that Jesus has been exalted to the highest places of honor. He says that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.

Philippians 2:9-11 (New International Version, ©2010)

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Hat tips to all links.


GMpilot said...

Didn't I have to do this last year? Don't you ever learn?
All right, one more time:

You may be interested to know that the “Christmas tree” existed long before Christ did. Jeremiah 10:2~4 has a screed against such “heathen decorations”, and some Christians today cite those verses as a reason to eschew harvesting trees and carving or adorning them.

During the Roman celebration of the feast of Saturnalia, Pagans decorated their houses with clippings of evergreen shrubs. They also decorated living trees with bits of metal and replicas of the god Bacchus. Tertullian complained about it in the 2nd century CE, writing that too many of his fellow Christians had copied the practice.

The English Puritans condemned a number of customs associated with Christmas, such as the use of the Yule log, holly, mistletoe, etc. Oliver Cromwell preached against "the heathen traditions" of Christmas carols, decorated trees and any joyful expression that desecrated "that sacred event." Ultimately, under Cromwell's stewardship of England, Christmas was banned altogether for a time; who'd have thought a Christian would prosecute Christmas?

The Christmas “tree' did not become popular until the mid-19th century. Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert introduced it to the Court as a popular seasonal activity in his native Germany (which it was). Britain being the most influential nation at the time, it soon became a common practice in the English-speaking world. (It's summertime in Australia now, though, so it might be difficult to achieve the proper mood.) Like so much else in Christianity, the winter solstice customs were stolen, shaped and twisted to fit the mold.

Using pine branches and pine cones actually goes back to the real thing, in pre- and early-Christian times. Personally, I've always liked the smell of a Douglas fir in the living room in December.
So quit your whining and enjoy the holiday. I do.

Christinewjc said...

GM -

Notice that I was quoting what the man behind me said at the check out line.

Don't you comprehend what you are reading?

Thanks for the history lesson, but the main point is that utilizing the terms "Christmas tree" are what get the Christian haters riled up into their usual hissy-fits during this time of year.

GMpilot said...

The man in line behind you made the comment. Here on the blog, you made an equally smsrmy remark about winter solstice...which is a far older celebration than yours.

Some Jewish families I've known refer to the tree tongue-in-cheek as a "Hanukah bush" since Christmas is obviously not part of their tradition.

But since they don't call them Christmas trees, that's hardly a reason to think of them as "Christian haters", now is it?

Monica said...

You said "So true," which indicates that you agree with what the man at the checkout said.

I can comprehend what I read, can you comprehend what you write?

I'm not so sure about "Christian haters," but I am sure that not everyone celebrates Christmas. We're not excluding Christmas, we are simply including other holidays. Would you appreciate Jewish or Muslim stamps? Probably as much as they would appreciate Christian stamps.