Upper Seneca Baptist Church
Friday, February 15, 2019
Our Mission: Impacting the Kingdom of God one person at a time
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Message for the month for December 2018
By Pastor Dennis Felder
There are many mysteries surrounding the celebration of Christmas
For one, why do we hang Christmas stockings
Folk tale has it that Santa Claus wanted to give gifts to three daughters of a very poor nobleman.
To accomplish this task, Santa dropped three bags of money down their chimney.
By accident, one of the bags of money fell into a stocking that hung to dry by the fire.
Today, this is why we hang stockings by the fireplace.

Another mystery about the Christmas season is why we exchange gifts.
The custom of exchanging presents at Christmastime is commonly linked to the Magi’s visit to the infant Jesus.
However, history also shows that in the Roman Empire gifts were exchanged to celebrate the winter solstice.
This Roman practice occurred before the birth of Christ. The American version of exchanging gifts is a combination of Jesus’ birth and the Roman custom.
May you find that this Christmas is the most blessed and peaceful of all for you and your family.

We also wonder, why do we use the Christmas poinsettia?
The red and green poinsettia, native to Central America, has been a Christmas symbol in the United States since the 1820’s, when it was first shipped north by Joel Poinsett, an American minister to Mexico.
Its shape is frequently compared to the mythically symmetrical Star of Bethlehem.

To some, however, the greatest mystery of Christmas is why Christ was born.
In the Bible, the word ‘mystery’ refers to a mystery of divine nature that remains hidden from human beings because their normal power of comprehension is insufficient.
However, Scripture shows us that God did not intend for the birth of Christ to remain a complete mystery to us.
Colossians 2:2-3 says “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.
Ephesians 1:9 says “And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ,
The “mystery” that God revealed through Christ’s birth was His plan of salvation.
Ephesians 1:7 says, “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”
Also, John 10:10 says, “... I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

Even though God revealed why Jesus came, we still do not fully understand how He came.
God chose to use a virgin birth to bring His one and only Son into this world.
If we were able to fully solve a divine mystery, we would be God.
However, if we accept a divine mystery as God’s truth, then we are exhibiting true faith.

Have you accepted God’s gift of His only Son?
Have you trusted by faith that God sent Jesus, born of a virgin, to die on the cross for your sins, to raise again in three days and to ascend to heaven to prepare a place for you?
Do you have a friend or family member who doesn’t know the true meaning about why Christ was born?
What better gift to give this Christmas than the gift of a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ?

Make an effort this Christmas to put less emphasis on the shopping, the decorating, the wrapping, and the meal planning. Make this the year that you and your family emphasize the TRUE meaning of Christmas.
Make it a celebration of the birth of God’s only Son, Jesus Christ.

Ask yourself, “Is there joy in my heart as I prepare to celebrate Christmas?
There should be a joy in our hearts because of God’s gift of love.
Psalm 105:3 says, “Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.”
Christmas began in the heart of God.
It is complete when it reaches the heart of man.
May you find that this Christmas is the most blessed and peaceful of all for you and your family.