Merry Christmas 2017

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

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”  Luke 2:10-11

Video:  Jennifer Nettles – O Holy Night/Hallelujah (Leonard Cohen cover) // SiriusXM // Country Christmas

From our family to yours, we wish a Merry Christmas!

Video: Full Movie – The Birth of Jesus

The Prophetic Purpose Of Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem

Interesting.

In this article, let’s explore why God strategically chose Bethlehem.

Why Bethlehem?

Bethlehem was previously known as the city David was from and where he was crowned king of Israel. The humble town is approximately six miles south of Jerusalem, where Jesus would later be crucified. Because of a prophecy foretold by Micah, for some 700 years, God’s people looked to Bethlehem as the birthplace of their long-awaited Messiah.

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, although you are small among the tribes of Judah, from you will come forth for Me one who will be ruler over Israel” (Mic. 5:2).

The Bible assures God orders the steps of His people (see Ps. 37:23). Perhaps there is no better example of this promise than how Mary and Joseph found themselves delivering our Messiah in the place that was foretold.

As Luke recorded in his Gospel, while Mary was pregnant with baby Jesus, the Roman emperor decreed that a census be taken (see Luke 2:1). Consequently, because Joseph was a descendant of David’s royal line, the census required he make the several-day journey from his residence in Nazareth to report to his ancestral home—Bethlehem. And the story is sure to note that Mary makes the journey, too. (One can imagine Mary’s accompaniment was not by choice for a woman in her condition, but likely out of obligation to enroll as the new wife of Joseph.)

Consider the precise timing of these events. Just a little longer in Nazareth, and the prophecy of the Messiah’s birth in Bethlehem would have failed. Yet by no planning on Mary’s part, nor any intention on the part of the emperor to fulfill any prophecy, Mary and Joseph are brought to Bethlehem. And at just that moment, Mary goes into labor to deliver Jesus.

What Bethlehem Reveals

Bethlehem’s selection by God as the birthplace of the Messiah was no happenstance. Nor was it chosen only because Joseph’s lineage happened to originate there. No, Bethlehem was strategically picked to be part of God’s redemption plan from the beginning—that Jesus would come to earth as the final, once-for-all, sacrificial lamb of God (see 1 Pet. 1:19–20).

As only God could know, events were orchestrated throughout the centuries, so that by the time of Jesus’ birth, Bethlehem was the city where lambs purchased for sacrifice in the temple were born and raised. In fact, in those days, every firstborn male lamb in Bethlehem was set aside to later be delivered to Jerusalem. And without coincidence, so was the lamb of God. Charisma

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.   And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”  Luke 2:8-12

 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger.  Luke 2:15-16

How did the shepherds know where to go?

Many do not realize that Micah further prophesied that kingship would come to the “Daughter of Jerusalem” at Migdal Eder: Micah 4:8 “As for you, O watchtower of the flock [Hebrew Migdal Eder], O stronghold of the Daughter of Zion, the former dominion will be restored to you; kingship will come to the Daughter of Jerusalem.” Migdal Eder was a watchtower located in the northern part of Bethlehem built to protect the Temple flocks.

“During lambing season the sheep were brought there from the fields, as the lower level functioned as the birthing room for sacrificial lambs.”

Priestly shepherds “would wrap the newborn lambs in swaddling clothes” and place them in a manger “until they calmed down” to keep them “without defect”, suitable to be sacrificial lambs for the sin of the Israelites. Bethlehem was special because the shepherds in the fields of Bethlehem raised lambs for the Jewish temple in Jerusalem. The shepherds who heard the angelic choir and came to see the baby Jesus were certainly familiar with the technique to birth a sacrificial lamb, and were likely puzzled by why a baby was birthed in the manner and location of a sacrificial lamb.

In fact, the angels did not have to tell the shepherds precisely where to go in Bethlehem to find Jesus, because there was only one manger where sacrificial lambs were birthed, the cave under the watchtower of Migdal Edar.  Rochester Edu

Italian Priest Islamization Of Nativity Scene

Utterly stupid.  Joseph and Mary were Jewish and this priest thought it was a good idea to put up an Islamic interpretation of the traditional Christian nativity scene.

A parish priest in the south of Italy enraged parishioners by dressing the Virgin Mary in a Muslim burqa for his church’s Christmas Nativity scene, adding a boatful of refugees and a rainbow flag in place of the star of Bethlehem.

The pastor of the parish of Saints Joachim and Anne in Potenza, Father Franco Corbo, found himself face to face with an angry mob of demonstrators gathered outside his church on Wednesday to protest his provocative display.  BreitBart

The 75-year- old priest pinned a burqa on Mary, dressed Joseph and the shepherds wearing traditional Muslim clothing, and changed the star of Bethlehem to a rainbow flag “in the name of dialogue among religions”.

Asked whether he didn’t consider his Nativity scene as sacrilegious, the 75-year-old priest said it was not, but rather a symbol that “religion can and should be an instrument of dialogue.”

“Islam is synonymous with peace and brotherhood,” the priest said, adding that Islamic terrorism is “an aberration that has nothing to do with religion.” BreitBart

Ignorant arguments repeatedly made by the left.

The walls of the traditional manger have been daubed with various slogans such as “Foreigners out”.

The scene is also split down the middle and divided into “Eastern” and “Western” sides…

However the priest had defended his decision, saying that he wanted to send a message saying ‘no’ to too many walls, either literally or symbolically, that prevented integration.

He said: “Just think about the wall built by Israel to keep Palestinians lock in true enclaves. Express

The wall separating Palestinians from Israel was erected to stop the daily suicide bombings and killing of innocent Israeli citizens.  The lack of a wall would result in more murderous carnage and the Arab-Palestinians would be closer to their goal of exterminating the Jews, not peace.

The Christmas story is not about a refugee family, it is about Christ.

The priest also added a boatful of refugees.

Joseph and Mary were not refugees, they were not foreigners in Bethlehem.  The nativity account is not a story about Middle Eastern people seeking refuge and being turned away by the heartless people.  That is a diminishing of a foundational doctrine of the Christian faith.

The refugee crisis is in no way analogous to the story of the birth of Christ.  Joseph and Mary were not fleeing a war-torn country.  They were returning home for a government-mandated census.  The reason Joseph and Mary could not find a room at the ‘inn’ was most likely because Bethlehem was brimming with people returning for the census.

They fled to Egypt.

There are similarities between Syrians fleeing ISIS and Mary and Joseph seeking refuge in Egypt in order to save Jesus from the murderous wrath of King Herod. But I have no doubt that most conservative Christians in America would gladly be Egypt to those Syrians who are fleeing the Herodian bloodlust of ISIS, as long as they had absolute certainty that ISIS itself or an Islamist worldview wouldn’t cross the border with them. The Federlist

They were not radicals that would enact violence and Joseph would not have gone on a rape spree of infidel women.

Politics disguised as religion and Christian apostasy is alive and well on planet earth.

Texas Attorney General Rips School District That Ordered The Removal Of “Charlie Brown Christmas” Door Poster

Don’t mess with Texas!

Christmas in the Lone Star state has no greater defender than Attorney General Ken Paxton. So when he read my column about a middle school in Killeen that tried to censor the true meaning of Christmas, he decided it was time to jingle somebody’s bells.

A staffer at Patterson Middle School was told she had to remove a poster depicting a scene from the cherished holiday classic, “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

The door-length poster featured Linus, a scrawny tree and that beautiful recitation of the true meaning of Christmas.

“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior which is Christ the Lord. That’s what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown,” Linus said.

Dedra Shannon’s poster was well-received among the staff and students – but a few days later she was told by the principal that she should either have to remove the religious references or remove the entire poster.

Linus could stay but the Baby Jesus had to go.

“She said my poster is an issue of separation of church and state,” Ms. Shannon told me. “She said the poster had to come down because it might offend kids from other religions or those who do not have a religion.”

Ms. Shannon refused to compromise her religious beliefs and ultimately removed the poster.

“I wasn’t going to leave Linus and the Christmas tree without having the dialogue. That’s the whole point of why it was put up.”

The incident proves that public school tolerance can only be achieved by being intolerant towards Christians.

But it turns out the principal may have inadvertently broken the 2013 “Merry Christmas” law. That law stipulates no school official in Texas can silence a Biblical reference to Christmas

“I am proud to have voted for the Merry Christmas law in 2013 when I was a member of the Legislature,” Paxton said. “We passed that law precisely because of this type of discrimination against people of faith.”

Paxton minced no words in describing what happened in that hallway at Patterson Middle School.

“This is an attack on religious liberty and a violation of the First Amendment and state law,” he said. “I am calling on the school board of the Killeen ISD to immediately reverse their unlawful decision.”  Town Hall

Lowell, MI Police Deliver Christmas Gifts In Surprise Traffic Stops

Instead of handing out traffic tickets for presumably minor traffic offences, Lowell, Michigan police helped warm hearts recently by handing out Christmas presents to unsuspecting drivers.

The police officer pulled drivers over for a minor traffic offence, then quizzed them about what they wanted for Christmas.  The police officer was wearing a GoPro and mic, within minutes his helpers rushed round and brought the gifts to the officer.

The police in Lowell helped warm hearts with their handing presents to unsuspecting drivers.