Pastor's Pen
by Buzz Dahlen
“Are you ready for Christmas?”   The typical, “small talk” question for this time of year.  Seems like the question starts getting asked around 1st or 2nd and then can be asked anytime there after up to the 23rd.  No one dare ask the question on Christmas Eve, for fear of making a persons seem shallow.  Of course, one would be ready for Christmas on Christmas Eve.  Although, I can remember a Christmas Eve, years back when I was out visiting a 24-hour convenient store, looking for anything that would resemble a Christmas gift for a forgotten uncle.  That year he received a year’s subscription to Look magazine…
When I am asked, if I am ready for Christmas, my typically answer is, “I am as ready as I was this time last year.”  My answer typically gets me out of any preparedness disclosure.  Honestly, if Christmas, as most of us refer to, was tomorrow, I would typically not be ready.  It seems that every year I have forgotten to get something for someone when it is time to start unwrapping the gifts.  There have been many a time that I wish I had a few more days, when really I should have started a little earlier or at least been a bit more diligent in my shopping.
So it begs me to ask, are you ready for Christmas?   I do not mean have you gotten all of your Christmas gifts purchased, made, baked and wrapped for the “Big Day.”  I mean have you prepared your heart for Christmas, the celebration of the birth of our Savior.  How does one make one’s self ready for Christmas?  Good question, thanks for asking…
Did you know that the date, December 25th comes from Rome and was a celebration of the Italic god, Saturn, and the rebirth of the sun god?  This was done long before the birth of Jesus.  It was noted by the  pre-Christian Romans and other pagans, that the daylight began to increase after December 22nd, when they assumed that the sun god had died.  These ancients believed that the sun god rose from the dead three days later as the new-born and venerable sun.  Thus, they figured that to be the reason for increasing daylight.  (From last trumpet ministries, the origin of Christmas)
In the early years of Christianity, many of the days of celebration were melded into existing pagan holidays to make it easier for believers and non-believers to come together.  I know that it does not seem very spiritual to think that our Christian “holy days” were once pagan days of celebration.  I do not think God minds.  Remember, He came to us and that is why we celebrate Christmas.  That is the reason for the season.  I am not surprised to think that God had things all worked out so that those who celebrated the resurrection of the sun, would be joined by those who celebrated the birth of the light of the world.”  John records:  When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."  The prophet Isaiah wrote:  The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.  Isaiah 9:2
The light of the world has come and an invitation has been given to all of mankind to enter into the light.  John also wrote:  This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.  If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth.  But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.  1 John 1:5-7 Are you ready for Christmas?   Are you ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus our Savior, the light of the world?  How does one make one’s self ready for Christmas, by asking Jesus, the light of the world to come into their life.    If you are ready, this will be a Merry Christmas for you and yours!

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