Category Archives: Christmas

Remembering the Christ of Christmas

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Remember the Christ of Christmas
it's why we celebrate
the birth of Christ our Saviour
who came to give us life.

Remember the Christ of Christmas
God's Son came down to earth,
when angels appeared to shepherds
declaring the Christ child's birth.

Remember the Christ of Christmas
as we prepare and plan,
that our focus should remain upon
Jesus Christ, the Son of Man.

Remember the Christ of Christmas
amongst the holly and the wreath,
as we look past all the trimmings
and see what's underneath.

Remember the Christ of Christmas
and how His was birth was not enough,
that His journey finally took him
to His death upon the cross.

Remember the Christ of Christmas
and His ultimate sacrifice -
from birth to death then resurrection
He came to give us life.

Margaret Holahan
10 December 2018
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A Christmas Story

Youth Leader:         Pastor, since I’m the Youth Leader I’d really like to organise the Christmas play this year.

 

Pastor:                      Well, I’ve already decided we’re going to do The Christmas Story again, but if you want to help them maybe you can start organising people and props.

 

Youth Leader:         Okay, what do we need?

 

Pastor:                      We need 3 wisemen, some shepherds and their flocks, Mary, Joseph and a baby Jesus.  Oh, and a stable would be good too.

 

Youth Leader:         That’s a lot of stuff.

 

Pastor:                      Do you think you can handle it, or should I find someone else to do it for you?

 

Youth Leader:         No, I’m sure I can get everything you need.  Leave it with me.
Youth Leader leaves the room and Pastor goes back to working on his computer.

 

Some time later….

 

Youth Leader knocks on Pastor’s door.

 

Youth Leader:         Excuse me Pastor, I’ve got all the things you wanted for the play?

 

Pastor:                      Already, gee that was quick.  Maybe I should put you in charge every year.

 

Youth Leader:         That would be so cool.

 

Pastor:                      Okay, let’s see what you’ve got.

 

Youth Leader:         Okay.  First, you wanted 3 wisemen.  Well here they are…

 

Wisemen enter.

 

Wiseman 1:             Is wearing a college graduation cap and carrying a large book and is reciting the equation E=mc2

 

Wiseman 2:             If two cars are travelling north at the velocity of 115 km per hour and the first car turns east and travels 2 hours before turning north and travelling another 1 hour, while the second car turns west and travels 2 hours before turning south and travelling for half an hour and then turns north and travels for 20 minutes and then turns east and travels for 10 minutes, where are they when they stop?

 

Wiseman 3:             Is carrying a board with the Question “Are you Smarter than a 5th Grader?” written on it.

 

Pastor:                      Enough!  The Pastor hakes his head….I didn’t mean that kind of wisemen…I meant the kind in the Bible.

 

Youth Leader:         Well, I’m sure I did better with the shepherds.  Let’s take a look….

 

In walk the shepherds – full beard, staffs and wearing dresses.

 

Pastor:                      What on earth are they!

 

Youth Leader:         They’re shepherds with their frocks!

 

Pastor:                      I said FLOCKS not frocks.  You know….SHEEP!

 

Youth Leader:         My bad.  I was positive you said frocks.

 

Pastor:                      I hate to ask who you got for Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus.

 

Youth Leader;         I’m really sure I got this one right pastor.  Take a look at them…

 

In walks Mary (carrying a large bottle of perfume).  She goes to the Pastor and kneels down

 

Pastor:                      What are you doing?

 

Mary:                        I need to pour this perfume on your feet and then wipe it off with my hair.

 

Pastor:                      (Reaches down to help her stand up.)  Uh, thanks but no thanks.  I’m not Jesus and you’re in the wrong story.

 

Mary stands up, shrugs and moves away.

 

Joseph comes in wearing his coat of many colours and is followed by a bald guy.

 

The Pastor is shaking his head.

 

Pastor:                      Let me guess.  You’re Joseph.

 

Joseph:                    Good guess.  (Then in a very loud whisper)….Actually, don’t say it too loud.  My brothers are jealous of my beautiful coat and they want to kill me.

 

Pastor:                      And who are you supposed to be?

 

Bald Guy:                I’m balding Jesus.

 

Pastor:                      What are you trying to do to me?

 

Youth Leader:         You mean they aren’t what you wanted?

 

Pastor:                      Since when did any of these 3 appear in the Christmas story?

 

Youth Leader:         Well, I did think it was kind of funny that you asked me to get them, but then I figured you’re the Pastor so you know what you’re doing.

 

Pastor:                      But obviously you don’t!  When I said Mary and Joseph, I wanted the parents of Jesus.  And I asked for a BABY Jesus, not a balding Jesus.

 

Youth Leader:         I wish you’d said that in the first place!

 

Pastor:                      I didn’t think I needed to clarify that much which characters are in the Christmas story.  Now I’m not even sure I want to know what you got to represent the stable.

 

Youth Leader:         Oh, that was the easiest part.

 

The youth leader rushes out the room and comes back carrying a table.

 

Pastor:                      How does that represent the stable?

 

Youth Leader:         Well, it’s a very stable table!

 

THE END

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The Christ Child’s Love

Christmas is coming

and traditions abound,

Mistletoe and holly

and trimmings all round

Frosty and Rudolph

play out in the snow,

while Santa and the elves

are kept on the go.

The wreath’s on the door,

the tinsel is hung,

Jingle Bells and White Christmas

have all been sung.

The tree’s in the corner

and the presents are wrapped.

The pudding is cooked

and I’m feeling trapped.

If one more tradition

finds its way through the door,

I think that I’ll scream,

and beg “PLEASE, NO MORE!”

Whatever happened

to our Christmas season?

Have we all forgotten

that He is the reason?

We need to remember

the story that’s told,

of the birth of our Saviour

a long time ago.

Let our traditions reflect

the Christ Child’s love –

A gift sent to us all,

from the Father above.

Margaret Holahan

4 December 2008

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Our Special Christmas Gift

‘tis the season to be silly

crowds pushing through the stores.

Let me out, please someone

tell me where to find the doors!

 

Jingle Bells and Rudolph,

blare through the PA system.

One more chorus of Frosty

and I think I’m gonna scream.

 

Christmas used to be about

more than maxing out the credit card,

or seeing which house had  the most

lights and Santas in the their yard.

 

Christmas used to be about

a very special birth,

when 2000 years ago

our Saviour came to earth.

 

In human form God’s Son was born

that night in Bethlehem,

a precious gift from God

for every woman, child and man.

 

Yes ‘tis the season to be jolly

and remember our Lord’s birth

sent to earth from heaven above

our special Christmas gift.

 

© 22 December 2007

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The Little Drummer Boy

Isaac woke with a start.  But what had awakened him?  He had heard a noise, something unfamiliar in the sound of the night.  He struggled to focus and he heard it again.

Full consciousness returned and with it came the realization that the noise he had heard was voices.

He crept from his sleeping mat to the edge of the camp.  He could see two figures in the darkness.  The tall one was Lucas but the smaller one was a stranger.  He crept closer until he could hear what they were saying.

“You’re mad man!” Lucas sounded angry.

“No, sir, we are not mad.  All the signs point to the new King being in Bethlehem,” said the stranger.  “So to Bethlehem we must go.”

“Bethlehem!”  The word escaped Isaac’s lips before he could stop it.  He hadn’t meant to say that out loud but the name of the town where he had been born has surprised him.  He clamped a hand over his mouth hoping against hope that Lucas hadn’t heard him.  But he had.

Lucas turned to where Isaac lurked behind the nearest tent.

“What are you doing there boy?” yelled Lucas.  “This is nothing to do with you.  Now go back to your bed and mind your own business.”

Isaac knew better than to argue with Lucas.  He had done that once and learned just how cruel Lucas could be.  Lucas had been so angry he had almost broken Isaac’s hands.  As it was, his hands had been so damaged from the beating that he hadn’t been able to play his drum for two months.

Isaac had been with Lucas and the travellers for almost three years.  Lucas said they had found him half dead on the side of the road – just him and his drum.

Isaac recalled how he had been travelling with his parents when they had been set upon by robbers.  Something hit him and he didn’t remember anything until after he woke in the back of Lucas’ cart.  Lucas said they had found him almost dead on the side of the road – just him and his drum.

According to Lucas there had been no sign of his parents.  But Isaac didn’t believe his parents would have fled and left him there alone.  There were times he wondered if Lucas hadn’t had something to do with the robbers who had attached him and his parents.

Lucas’ wife, Sarah, had cared for him, bathed and bandaged his wounds and nursed him until he was well enough to be put to work.

Everyone had to earn their keep.  Isaac’s job was to help care for the animals.  Sometimes Lucas would let him play his drum when people came to hear Lucas sing and the others play.

But Isaac still remembered his parents and how happy they had been together.  They came from Bethlehem and he wondered if maybe they were still there, waiting for him to come home.  Or were they still searching for him.

Isaac had asked Lucas once if they could go to Bethlehem but Lucas had gotten angry.  That was the time Lucas had hurt his hands.  Isaac had never asked Lucas about Bethlehem again.

So for now he would do as Lucas said, or at least appear to do so.  But somehow he would find out why the stranger and Lucas had been talking about Bethlehem.

Isaac walked around behind the tent and carefully crept to across the camp to the next tent.  Now he was behind Lucas and he prayed he was far enough away not to be seen.

“But you should come with us,” continued the stranger.  “It’s not that far.  And the new King IS there.”

“I don’t like the old one, so what makes you think I’d want anything to do with the new one!” Lucas turned and walked away from the stranger.

The stranger turned to walk back to his friends.  “He wouldn’t even let me speak to the others,” he said.

“Never mind Caspar,” called his friend.  “At least you tried to tell him.”

The men began to walk toward their camels.

Isaac watched Lucas walk back to his tent and then he made his decision.  As quickly and quietly as he could, he crept back to his sleeping place.  He didn’t own much, just his drum.  He carefully pulled his drum from its night time hiding place and crept back to the edge of the camp.  He could no longer see the strangers, but he headed in what he thought was the direction they had taken.

Isaac secured his drum tightly across his back and then set off on his quest to follow the strangers.

He wasn’t sure how they would react to his following them, especially after the one named Caspar had heard Lucas tell him to mind his own business, so he was careful not to get too close.

But apparently he had not been careful enough.  As Isaac passed an outcropping of rocks, a man jumped from behind them and grabbed his arms.

“What are doing following us?” the man demanded.

“P-p-p-please sir, I-I-I didn’t mean any harm,” stammered Isaac.  “It was just that I head you tell Lucas you were going to Bethlehem and I wanted to go with you.”

“Why do you want to go to Bethlehem boy?” gently asked the man named Caspar.

“I think my parents may be there,” replied Isaac.

“Your parents?  But wasn’t that man back there your father?” asked Caspar.

“No sir, that was Lucas.” Said Isaac and proceeded to tell Caspar and his friends his story.

“Well now, that’s an interesting story,” said the first man.  “Should we let him come with us?”

“Why not,” said a third man.  “Welcome boy.  I’m Mechior, this is Caspar and that there is Bathasar.  Now what should we call you?”

“I’m Isaac,” he replied.  “Thank you for letting me travel with you.”

“Let’s be on our way then,” said Bathasar.

The group mounted their camels and continued their journey to Bethlehem.

Isaac rode with Caspar and during the journey Caspar told him they were Magi.  He explained to Isaac about the new King they were travelling to Bethlehem to visit.

Isaac listened in awe to Caspar’s story and he began to grow just as excited about seeing the new king as he was about the possibility of finding his new parents.

“But how will we know where to find this new king?” he asked.

“Well, you see that bright star up there?” asked Caspar.

Isaac nodded and Caspar continued, “We are following that star and it will lead us right to the place where the new King can be found.”

About that time they came upon some shepherds tending their sheep.

The Magi stopped to enquire the nearest place to find a meal and bed for the night.

“I’m Benjamin, and this is my brother Adam.  We don’t have much, but if you’re happy to camp out then you’re welcome to join us for the night,” said the first shepherd.

“We would be honoured,” replied Caspar.

Over the meal that night Caspar, Melchior and Bathasar explained to the shepherds the reason for their journey to Bethlehem.

“Are you on your way to see the new King?” asked Benjamin.

“Yes,” replied Bathasar.  “We have been studying the heavens and our studies show that God’s chosen Saviour would be found in Bethlehem.  We go there to pay our respects to the new King.”

“We saw angels,” stated Benjamin.

“That we did,” added Adam.  We were out minding our own business, making sure the sheep didn’t get into no mischief when suddenly this bright light appears in the sky.

“We were pretty scared,” admitted Bejamin.  “But then this angel appears and tell us not be afraid. He says, ‘I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people.  Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.  This will be a sign to you:  You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger’.

Then Adam continued, “Yeah, and then all of a sudden this gang of angels appears in the sky and starts singing ‘Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests’.”

Isaac stood by listening to this exchange, his eyes wide open.  He couldn’t believe he was on his way to see the same child the shepherds spoke of.  A child God sent angels to tell the shepherds about.  A child God sent a special star to guide the Magi and help them find him.

After a good meal and a restful night the Magi and Isaac were ready to resume their journey.

“You’re on the right path,” Benjamin told them.  “But the child and his circumstances may not be what you expect.”

“Thank you for your kindness,” replied Caspar, “and the meal, but we had best be on our way.”

The group continued their journey following the star until they entered the outskirts of Bethlehem and the star appeared to stop above what appeared to be a workshop.

“This can’t be right Caspar,” called Bathasar.  “Are you sure we followed the right star.”

“Yes,” replied Caspar.  “There is no mistake.  The star is telling us we will find the new king in this simple dwelling.”

“It doesn’t seem right to find a king in such a simple dwelling,” said Isaac.

“Ah, but this is no ordinary king Isaac,” said Mechior.  “This king is chosen one.  God’s promised Saviour.”

Isaac’s eyes opened wide.  He wasn’t exactly sure what Mechior was talking about, but now he was even more excited to meet the new king.

The Magi and Isaac dismounted from their camels and approached the workshop.

The door was open and the scene before them unusual.

A man was at a work bench.  He appeared to be smoothing down the legs of a chair.  He was a carpenter!

Behind the man a doorway led to another room  The curtain was pulled aside and through the open doorway Isaac could see a woman nursing a child.

The man approached the Magi, “I am Joseph the carpenter.  Can I help you?” he asked.

“We are looking for the new King,” answered Capsar.  “We have followed God’s star to your dwelling and accordingly the new King is to be found here.”

“Ah, you must mean Jesus,” replied Joseph.  “He and my wife Mary are through here.”

The Magi followed Joseph into the small room behind the workshop.

Then Isaac watched as the Magi bowed before the child and handed gifts to the child’s mother.

“Please accept this gift of frankincense for our new king,” said Bathasar.

“And this gift of myrrh,” added Mechior.

Finally it was Caspar’s turn.  He knelt before the child lying in the manger and said to the mother as he handed her his gift, “A gift of gold for our Lord’s Saviour.”

The woman smiled at Caspar and nodded her head as she accepted his gift, just as she had done with the other two Magi.

The man standing behind her smiled at the Magi and then spoke, “My name is Joseph, and this Mary.  We thank you on behalf of our Lord God and this special child he has blessed us with for your generosity.  This child is Jesus, God’s Saviour of His people.”

The Magi bowed before the child.  Isaac wasn’t sure what he should do so he knelt next to Caspar.

Isaac looked at the gifts the Magi had given the child.  He wished he could give something too, but he had nothing to give.  Nothing but himself and his music.

Very quietly he rose to his feet and timidly approached the woman.

“Excuse me,” he stammered.  “I would like to give the king a gift too, but all I have is my drum.  Would it be okay if I play him a song?  Do you think he would like that?”

“That would be lovely,” replied Mary.  “I’m sure he would enjoy it.”

So Isaac took his drum and began to softly play for the baby Jesus.  As he played, the baby smiled and waved his little fists.

When Isaac finished the baby had fallen asleep.

“I think he really enjoyed that gift Isaac,” said Caspar as he patted the boy on the shoulder.

“Do you really think so?” asked Isaac.

“Yes, and we enjoyed it to,” added Joseph. “You play well young Isaac.  Thank you for honouring our son in this way.”

“We should be leaving now so the young king can sleep,” said Mechior.  “We’ll make camp outside and see you tomorrow morning.”

The Magi found shelter in a nearby inn that night and Isaac stayed with them.  He fell asleep with a smile on his face as he thought of the baby Jesus smiling at him, and the fact that Caspar had promised to help him look for his parents the next day.

© 5 December 2007

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The Little Donkey

The little donkey trudged wearily on.  It had been a long trip from Nazareth and he was really looking forward to a warm stable and a meal of fresh hay.

His load was heavy for such a small donkey.  But he didn’t mind.  The man had been kind – concern for his wife urging them on.

The woman had spoken softly to him every so often, grateful she had not needed to walk the entire way.  The baby she carried, although now due, had caused her no problems or worries on this trip.

The little donkey sensed there was something special about this trip.  His desire to know what it was had kept his feet moving one in front of the other for many miles now.

But their trip was almost at an end.  The little donkey could smell the familiar odours of the town as they drew closer.  The stench of stale ale.  The smell of food and spices.  A nearby stable.

For a reason he didn’t understand, the little donkey felt excitement begin to rise and he increased his pace.

“Steady now Little One,” gently whispered the man.  “It’s not much further now.”

A short time later the man drew him to a stop outside a noisy Inn.

“Look after Mary now Little One,” he urged, “while I find the Innkeeper.”

With that the man disappeared inside only to reappear a short time later shaking his head.

“They don’t’ have any room for us,” he told Mary.  “We must try somewhere else.”

Little One trudged from Inn to Inn carrying his burden as the scenario was repeated over and over again.

Just then the opened and an elderly man stepped outside with a lantern in one hand and a basket in the other.

As he handed the basket to Joseph he explained, “My wife thought you might be hungry.”

“Please thank your wife for her kindness,” Joseph replied as he took the basket and handed it to Mary.

The man then led them by lantern light along a path that wound behind the Inn to a small stable.

“I’m sorry it’s not more comfortable,” the man apologised as he lit another lantern.

“This will do just fine,” replied Joseph.  “Thank you for your kindness.”

Little One watched patiently while Joseph settled Mary on a bed of hay and blankets.

“Okay Little One,” said Joseph as he gently stroked Little One’s nose.  “Your turn now.  How about some nice fresh hay and a long rest?”

Little One nuzzled Joseph’s hand in response.

Mary and Joseph ate the bread and cheese from the basket the Innkeeper’s wife had given them before settling down for the night.

Little One watched and waited.

He could sense something special was going to happen.  He just didn’t know when.

Little One woke with a start.  He must have fallen asleep, but what had woken him.

He moved closer to where Mary and Joseph sat whispering near the manger.

It was then he noticed the manger no longer held the hay he’d been nibbling last night.

Instead, lying there in the manger was a sleeping baby.

“Don’t worry Little One,” smiled Mary.  “Meet your new King.  This is Jesus, the Son of God.”

Little One looked at Mary and then back at the baby sleeping so peacefully.

“Well?” asked Joseph.  “What do you think of your new King?”

Little One nodded his head and brayed softly in approval.

IN the days that followed, Little One saw a procession of visitors to the baby Jesus as he lay quietly in the manger.

First there were some shepherds.  Little One was amazed when he heard them say they had left their flock to look after itself because an angel had appeared in the sky and told them to go and visit their new Saviour.

Then there was the Innkeeper and his wife who brought a beautiful blanket for the baby and some more food to help Mary get her strength back.

After that there were the wisemen who had come from the East.  They had brought special gifts for the little baby.  They called him a ‘King’ and gave him gifts of frankincense, gold and myrrh.

Little One remembered Mary had told him the baby was a King.  She had also said he was ‘Jesus, the Son of God’.

During all this time, Little One had stood patiently and protectively beside the manger, watching and listening.

It seemed he’d been right.  Something special had happened.

This little baby Jesus was God’s very own son.

He would grow up and one day he would save the world from sin and corruption, death and disease, war and famine, hatred and spite.

Little One felt so proud, he had helped the baby Jesus.  He had carried Mary safely from Nazareth to Bethlehem where baby Jesus had been born.

And in a few more days he would carry Mary and the baby Jesus on the next leg of their journey.

 

Margaret Holahan

December 2005

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Did You Hear About the Baby?

Did you hear about the baby

born of a virgin bride?

An angel spoke to Mary

and Joseph stood by her side.

 

Did you hear about the baby

born in Bethlehem?

His birth place was a stable,

the only place for him.

 

Did you hear about the baby

a manger for his bed?

A hay filled cattle trough,

the only place to lay his head.

 

Did you hear about the baby

and the shepherds who dropped by?

A host of angels sang to them

from way up in the sky.

 

Did you hear about the baby

visited by the three wisemen?

Frankincense, gold and myrrh

the gifts they brought for him.

 

Did you hear about the baby

King Herod wanted dead?

The wisemen warned his parents

and so to Egypt they fled.

 

Did you hear about the baby

born to give me life?

God send His only Son

who for my sins would die.

 

Did you hear about the baby

crucified on the cross?

His blood spilled for me

so my life would not be lost.

 

Did you hear about the baby

and the empty tomb?

He was crucified

and three days later rose again.

 

Did you hear about the baby

whose most important gift,

was not his birth or his death

but the resurrection of new life?

 

18 November 2007

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