FACQ- Frequently Asked Christmas Questions

Hey y’all. Sorry for the lack of posting (again). The holiday season is busy, and y’all probably can relate. We are going to taking a break from the series, Knowing You Are Special for the month of December and focus more on Christmas topics. So here’s the first Christmas post of the season, FACQ: Frequently Asked Christmas Questions.


Why do we celebrate Jesus’ birthday on Christmas?  Historians have studied when Jesus might have been born.  They have a few ideas but, they are not exactly sure when he was born. Christmas was first celebrated officially by the Roman emperor, Constantine and it wasn’t declared a national holiday until Ulysses S. Grant. It really doesn’t matter when Jesus was born. All that matters is that he was born.


Why do we call it Christmas? Back in the early church time people used to get together for communion or celebrate Christ’s birthday. They would call these get together’s masses. So, when they celebrated Christ’s birthday they called it Christs’ mass. Over the years we have shortened Christs’ mass to Christmas!


What do certain plants have to do with Christmas? You have probably heard the song, The Holly and the Ivy. Well Christians believe that prickly leaves of the Holly represent the crown of thorns that Jesus wore when he was crucified. The berries are the drops of blood that were shed by Jesus because of the thorns. And the Ivy has to cling to something to support itself as it grows. This reminds us that we need to cling to God for support in our lives. I never thought about Holly and Ivy this way until someone actually told me! It’s quit clever if you think about it.  Same thing for the popular Poinsettia plant. The shape of the poinsettia flower and leaves are sometimes thought as a symbol of the Star of Bethlehem which led the Wise Men to Jesus. The red colored leaves symbolize the blood of Christ. The white leaves represent his purity. Who knew a little plant could mean something?


Why do we exchange presents on Christmas? We are giving the gift of Christmas to others. God started this tradition by sending, or by giving us his only son, Jesus. John 3:16- For God so loved the world that he GAVE his only son. That whosoever believes in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. We show people we care and love them by giving them something. Just as God showed us he loved us by sending his son. We are regifting the love Jesus gave to us, and showing it to others.


What’s the point of the Christmas tree? A Christmas tree reminds us of a story a along time ago. There were people that worshiped a false god. They believed that the god dwelt in this large tree, right in the middle of nowhere. They believed if anyone cut it down they would be punished. But, there was this one guy who believed in Jesus, and knew idol worship was wrong, and he decided to cut down the tree. The people watched as the tree came down and nothing happened. Then they all started worshiping the one true God – Jesus! So the tree reminds us that Jesus is the one true God.


Why are candy canes such a big deal? There are many stories about this one. But my favorite would definitely have to be..

“Look at the candy cane and what do you see? Stripes that are red like the blood shed for me. White for my savior who is sinless and pure. “J” is for Jesus, my Lord, that’s for sure! Turn it around and a staff you will see- Jesus my shepherd is coming for me!”


What does X-mas mean? A lot of you may have heard about the word x-mas before. It is Christmas shortened, but notice that the x covers Christ. So what do you think the purpose of the word x-mas is? To take Christ out of Christmas. Just like Happy Holidays or Season’s Greetings. They don’t believe Christmas is the day we celebrate Christ’s birth. Some people say “Merry x-mas” but they don’t mean anything by it. They just don’t know what it means and why it’s said like that. Some people just say it to take the short way out. They don’t feel like spelling Christmas all the way out. If I were you, I’d take the time to spell Christmas out. Because I don’t to take my savior’s name out of Christmas.


Who is Emmanuel? You’ve probably heard the song, O Come O Come Emmanuel. The song is quoting scripture. In Matthew 1:23 it says “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Emmanuel” (which means “God with us”). Emmanuel is just another name for our savior. He has many names, God the Son, Messiah, Lord, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Light of the World etc. Isaiah 9:6 even states that “For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”


What exactly was the star of Bethlehem? This is a question that has confused Christian astronomers and worldly astrologers alike. Some say it was a supernova that had recently exploded. Others say it was a planetary conjunction between big and bright planets such as Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus. Some say that the moon was in the mix. Others propose that maybe very bright stars aligned. And then there are those who think God put a brand new special star in the sky just for that very night. No one knows for sure what exactly happened. But it has become a beautiful symbol of how special that night was.


If Christ inspired the idea of Christmas, how did Santa Claus come into play?   Many stories associate the idea of Santa Claus with giving. St. Nicholas’ story goes something like this, There was a poor man who had three daughters. He was so poor, he did not have enough money for a dowry, so his daughters couldn’t get married. (A dowry is a sum of money paid to the bridegroom by the brides parents on the wedding day.) One night, Nicholas, who’s parents had just left a big sum of money to, secretly dropped a bag of gold down the chimney and into the house (This meant that the oldest daughter was then able to be married.). The bag fell into a stocking that had been hung by the fire to dry! This was repeated later with the second daughter. Finally, determined to discover the person who had given him the money, the father secretly hid by the fire every evening until he caught Nicholas dropping in a bag of gold. Nicholas begged the man to not tell anyone what he had done, because he did not want to bring attention to himself. But soon the news got out and when anyone received a secret gift, it was thought that maybe it was from Nicholas. Other stories go onto say that Saint Nick would leave presents in wooden shoes. So children every year would leave their wooden clogs at their doors and wait for Saint Nick to fill them with goodies! Santa’s name is different in every country,  Pere Noel, Sinter Claus, Kris Kringle, Father Christmas, St. Nick, Santa Claus etc. Through the years people just kept making up idea’s about this St.Nick fellow. They later changed his name to Santa and developed the ideas of him living at the North Pole, having 12 reindeer (and of course, Rudolph), elves, flying a sled, and so on. So really the whole Santa Claus story originated from a plain ole guy just wanting to share Christmas with others.


What is the true meaning of Christmas? I got one word for you….. Jesus.  “Jesus is the reason for the season.” *thinks about coffee mug*  It tells us here in Luke 1:26-56 about how the angel Gabriel came to a virgin girl who was just 14-15 years old. Her name was Mary. The angel told her she was going to have a child. But, not just any baby, she was gonna have the savior of the world. The bible tells us how Mary had to break the news to her fiance, Joseph. And how the Lord had to show Joseph that everything was going to be alright. In Luke 2:1-40 it talks about how they had to travel all the way to Bethlehem (pregnant Mary rode a donkey) to pay taxes and how there was no room at any of the inns. It tells us how Jesus had to be born in a stable because they couldn’t find a room. It tells us how the shepherds saw the star and heard the angels sing. They followed the bright star and reached the little family in the stable. Matthew 2:1-12 Say that years later wisemen did the same thing. They followed the star and presented the king with gold, myrrh, and frankincense. Christmas is about celebrating the King’s birthday. It’s about thanking God for sending us salvation on a cold winter’s day in a little town called Bethlehem. #christmasstoryinanutshell


 

So, it looks like the FACQ post is now over. *sniffles* If you can think of any more questions, let me know in the comments below.

And just remember we can joke and decorate with Santa but just make sure you always remember and never stray away from the fact that, Jesus is the reason for the CHRISTmas season!

 

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Referring back to him

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Everything about Christmas always seems to refer back to Jesus! Like the candy cane.

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The christmas tree is a symbol that God is the one true God. Back in Germany a long time ago men were praying to a sacred tree that they believed their “god” dwelled on. And if anyone should ever cut it down they would be punished from their “god”. Well a christian came along and chopped down the tree, and nothing happened. So all the people turned and followed the one true God after that. .

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Even the poinsettia reminds us that Jesus will accept any gift that is pleasing and honoring to him!

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Even the stars remind us about how God made all the stars so beautiful. And how on that one Christmas night he made a very special star stay over the place where Jesus lay. The beautiful star of Bethlehem. (there is a really interesting video about the star. It’s a christian astronomer explaining how, why, where and the importance of the star! Just look up the name on google and it will pop up)

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The word Christmas itself refers back to Christ! Its derived from the word Christ’s mass. When people would gather together to celebrate the child’s birth. Then it was shortened to Christmas!

Merry Christmas! And remember Jesus is the reason for the season!

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Merry Christmas

Please forgive me for not posting alot during this season. I pray all of yall had a good Christmas and a happy new year too!

Last year I was able to post a lot more. So go to my blog and click on the link under archives on the side that says Decemeber 2015, and lots of Christmas posts should pop up. Feel free to read as many as you would like.

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 Luke 1

Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,

Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;

It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,

That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.

And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.

And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course,

According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.

10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.

11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.

15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.

16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.

19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.

20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.

22 And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.

23 And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.

24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,

25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.

32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda;

40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth.

41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.

43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.

45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.

46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord,

47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.

48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name.

50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation.

51 He hath shewed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.

52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree.

53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.

54 He hath helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;

55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.

56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house.

57 Now Elisabeth’s full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son.

58 And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had shewed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.

59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father.

60 And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.

61 And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.

62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called.

63 And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all.

64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.

65 And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea.

66 And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.

67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,

68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,

69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;

70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:

71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;

72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;

73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,

74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear,

75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.

76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;

77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins,

78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us,

79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.

80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his shewing unto Israel.

Luke 2:1-40

And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.

20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

21 And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called Jesus, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.

22 And when the days of her purification according to the law of Moses were accomplished, they brought him to Jerusalem, to present him to the Lord;

23 (As it is written in the law of the Lord, Every male that openeth the womb shall be called holy to the Lord;)

24 And to offer a sacrifice according to that which is said in the law of the Lord, A pair of turtledoves, or two young pigeons.

25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.

26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,

28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,

29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:

30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,

31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;

32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

33 And Joseph and his mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him.

34 And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary his mother, Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against;

35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.

36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity;

37 And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.

38 And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

39 And when they had performed all things according to the law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own city Nazareth.

40 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, filled with wisdom: and the grace of God was upon him.

Matthew 1:19-25

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.

19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.

20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,

23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:

25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.

Matthew 2:1-21

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem,

Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him.

When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.

And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born.

And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judaea: for thus it is written by the prophet,

And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.

And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.

10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy.

11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way.

13 And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him.

14 When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt:

15 And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son.

16 Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men.

17 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying,

18 In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.

19 But when Herod was dead, behold, an angel of the Lord appeareth in a dream to Joseph in Egypt,

20 Saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and go into the land of Israel: for they are dead which sought the young child’s life.

21 And he arose, and took the young child and his mother, and came into the land of Israel.

MERRY CHRISTMAS! God bless us everyone. ~cupcakegirl10