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Keeping Christ in Christmas

At the Yuletide season someone always asks, “How can we keep Christ in Christmas?” The answer is simple—try! Christ can be kept at the center of your Christmas if you put forth an effort. Here is my recipe of three specific things that your family can do:

1. Remember the reason for the exchanging of gifts. This has become the dominant feature of Christmas for many families. Parents, make clear to children the reason for exchanging gifts—it is only symbolic of God’s great gift to us, namely Christ the Prince of Peace. Children should be taught to give as well as receive. It is best if children are encouraged to buy gifts with their own money, especially gifts for the needy. 

2. Keep Santa Claus in his place. I would not want to do away with the Santa Claus tradition. A certain amount of harmless make-believe is a part of a child’s growing up, and all children outgrow Santa in a few years’ time. But Santa should never be allowed to usurp the Christ Child’s place. Make sure children understand that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ. When children are taught only about Santa Claus and nothing about Christ, Christmas becomes very empty of significance. 

3. Have a brief family worship on Christmas morning. Here is a simple plan:

First, have the family sing several carols together, such as “Silent Night” or “Joy to the World”—or listen to a recording of them.

Then, using images from the Internet or pictures on your religious Christmas cards, piece together the story of the birth of Christ as you recall it. Make it a game. You may begin by selecting a picture of the angel that appears to Mary and Joseph. Next, look for the city of Bethlehem, the shepherds, the wise men, the manger scene, etc. Then ask various members of the family to read aloud verses that pertain to these scenes. 

Finally, offer a prayer of thanksgiving for Christ the Savior, our church, our nation, and our friends. Remember also those who are still in spiritual darkness around the world. Pray for “peace on earth, and good will toward men.”

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Paul W. Powell - www.PaulPowellLibrary.com

Today's Devotional

Honesty in Business

A news article once told of a large feedlot that overpaid about $140,000 for feed grain due to an electronic “butcher’s thumb.” An electronic gadget operated by remote control was suspected of making grain truck scales at the lot register more grain than actually was delivered.

The newspaper said a 75-pound weight allegedly was attached to the scales under the truck weighing area, with the weight’s position on the scale beams determining how much a load was “padded.” A similar gimmick was used in a grain-storage operation in Colorado.

Such dishonesty is not a new problem. The Bible says, “A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is his delight” (Proverbs 11:1).

A false balance is just one way you can be dishonest in business. You can be dishonest by misrepresenting the facts about a product. You can be dishonest by taking advantage of the ignorance of others. You can be dishonest by making more than a fair and reasonable profit. You can be dishonest by not paying your debts. The one who does not pay his debts is a liar and a thief. He has given his word and not kept it. He has taken that which belonged to another and not paid for it.

All dishonesty grows out of greed and covetousness. Such dishonesty is an abomination (object of hatred, disgust) to the Lord. God can never be pleased with such things. But “a just weight is his delight.” God is pleased, even delighted, when people are honest and fair in business. Is God delighted with you? Not unless you are honest in every way.

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