Matthew 2:13-14

CHRISTMASTIME MYTHS

(November 16, 2021) Dr Robert McQuillan responds to this query about Christmas

Dear Dr Robert
It’s me, Mitch… again. As mentioned before, I appreciate the help you’ve given me. Here’s something else – A couple of people have been pointing out things to me about Christmastime next month… that it’s unbiblical to celebrate as no one knows the date of Jesus’ birth… that Christians believe more in Santa Claus than they do about Jesus. What can I say to them? Mitch.

Dear Mitch

Yes it’s true that no one really knows the exact date of Christ’s birth, when Mary gave birth to the babe who would grow up able to understand all our feelings, problems, temptation and such… and become our Saviour. And, yes, the Bible encourages us to celebrate Easter, our salvation through Jesus and communion rather that Christmas.

So let’s cut to the chase here… we who know Jesus as Saviour should be grateful, but how can we really celebrate his incarnation, like the shepherd and magi did? Well, a very long time ago it was decided by ‘church powers’ to name December 25 as Christ’s ‘birthday’ and the day to be universally celebrated. The reality is that the date doesn’t really matterJesus willingly came for our benefit, to become our Saviour and we should rejoice over this (and not merely celebrating ‘Santa Claus fun time’ with our children)!

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‘MANY CLAIM TO HAVE UNFAILING LOVE BUT…

(August 8, 2021) Geri B brings an insightful challenge…

… a faithful man who can find?’ asks the wise Solomon in Proverbs 20:6.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines ‘faithful’ as ‘steadfast in affection or allegiance, firm in adherence to promises or in observance of duty, full of faith.’

In James’ epistle faith is intrinsically linked to deeds…  ‘What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?  Can such faith save them?  In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.  But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.”  Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds’ (James 2:14, 17-18). 

Hebrews 11 mentions those who lived their lives in faith by their deeds and we are exhorted to live in the same manner – whatever the circumstances we find ourselves in and the outcome.

However there is someone not mentioned in that chapter who also epitomises a life of faith… but he is often overlooked because of the woman he married.  However I would like to briefly examine his life to gain a little insight into what it can mean to live a faithful, full-of-faith life.  The ‘faith-ful’ life he lived was one of having the fear of God, being obedient and evidencing humility.

1. Fear
I speak of Joseph, a godly and righteous man, a descendant of King David, introduced in the book of Matthew as the fiancé of Mary, the mother of Jesus.  He was also a kind and gracious man who did not want to expose Mary to public disgrace by breaking their engagement due to her pregnancy, even though by the law he had every right to do so.

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