Daily Archives: December 24, 2007

Advent Family Devotions: Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

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Christmas Eve 

 Our Response 

Put a large red candle in the center of the wreath and light it with the other four. Through the weeks the light of your wreath has grown brighter, and with the celebration of Christ’s birth the message becomes clearer: the Light of the World has overcome the darkness!! The Scripture readings for today focus on what our response should be. 

John 8:12: When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 9:4-5: As long as it is day, we must do the work of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the light of the world. 

2 Corinthians 4:3-6: And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

 Matthew 5:14-16: You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. 

1 John 1:5-7: This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. 

Carol: “Thou Dost Reign On High” No. 241 (Blue Trinity No. 170)   

Christmas Day

 Again, light all five candles. Read the Christmas story from Luke 2:1-20. Have family members share what they have learned during your Advent devotions. Sing your favorite Christmas carols in joyous celebration because, in Isaiah’s words: “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light.”  (Isaiah 9:2)

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Star of Bethlehem

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This really intrigues me~

What IF, Jesus was born on or around April 17, 6 BC?

How would that change the way we look at holidays?

Christmas?

Celebrating Jesus birthday? and resurrection?

Who gets to decide if what the ‘star’ experts are saying is truth?

Are there groups of Christians out there that beleive this? Where are they?

I watched part of this show the other night, its really good.

Decided to google it.

Here is some stuff I came up with:

 

1. This page was copied from Nick Strobel’s Astronomy Notes.

Go to his site at www.astronomynotes.com for the updated and corrected version.

2.THE STAR OF BETHLEHEM: AN ASTRONOMICAL AND HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

By Susan S. Carroll

The Star of Bethlehem is one of the most powerful, and enigmatic, symbols of Christianity. Second perhaps only to the Cross of the Crucifixion, the importance of its role in the story of the Nativity of the Christ child is almost on a par with the birth itself. However, the true origin of the Star of Bethlehem has baffled astronomers, historians, and theologians for the past two millennia.

For the purposes of this discussion we shall consider four possibilities:

That the star was a “one-shot” occurrence – never before seen and has not been seen since; it was placed in the sky by God to announce the birth of His Son;

That the Star was added to the story of the Nativity after the fact;

That the Star was a real, documentable astronomical object;

That the entire New Testament was falsified.

If you subscribe to the first theory, then we, as astronomers, have nothing to talk about. It was a supernatural miracle that defies scientific explanation. However, many theologians insist on putting some sort of divine interpretation on the Star as part of the story of the Nativity. By admitting that the Star was a natural phenomenon, with an actual scientific explanation, is tantamount to totally removing its heavy symbolic significance. After all, how could something so miraculous have such a mundane explanation? From Here

3. From Christian Answers

4. From Space.com

5. From http://www.bethlehemstar.net/

Anyway, it is an interesting subject. Would love to hear your comments!

Kristina