The History of Christmas: Its Biblical Roots

From the Koinonia Institute

The Hebrew Roots:

Jesus birth was foretold centuries prior in the Hebrew Scriptures. In the fullness of time, God sent His Son to redeem mankind. He sent Jesus as a little baby to become God With Us.

But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting . -Micah 5:2

And he said, It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel: I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth . -Isaiah 49:6

Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel . -Isaiah 7:14

…When at the first he lightly afflicted the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, and afterward did more grievously afflict her by the way of the sea, beyond Jordan, in Galilee of the nations. The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined. For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this . -Isaiah 9:1-2,6-7 Continue Reading

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Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

From the Koinonia Institute

In 1897, Francis P. Church wrote a now-famous editorial in which he told little Virginia O’Hanlon that indeed there was a Santa Claus. Church wrote in the Sun:

“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist… No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever.”

St. Nicholas:
About AD 260 there was born a certain man named Nicholas who became well known for his generosity and his love of children. Raised in the city of Patara on the coast of what is now Turkey, Nicholas traveled to Palestine as a young man.  He later became bishop of the nearby town of Myra. When Emperor Diocletian focused on persecuting Christians, Nicholas was tortured and imprisoned for his faith in Christ. According to tradition, Nicholas was released by Emperor Constantine and later attended the First Council of Nicea in AD 325. Continue Reading

Happy Thanksgiving!

From Wallbuilders.com – This week we celebrate a uniquely American holiday – Thanksgiving.

First ThanksgivingWhile thanksgiving celebrations occurred in North America as early as 1541, our current celebration is generally modeled after the one at Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1621. The Pilgrims, having survived their first winter (during which about half of them died), invited their local Indian friends to join with them in several days of religious activities, feasting, and athletic competition.

Thanksgiving became a festival celebrated annually across New England but did not spread to all the colonies until the American Revolution, when the Continental Congress called for official days of thanksgiving and prayer. Continue Reading

When we set our eyes on circumstances instead of the promises of God

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 – “For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”2 Corinthians 4:17

A young missionary lady lamented to discover that she was expecting a baby. She and her husband were ministering in a very primitive location in Africa, where they lived in poverty conditions, and they already had five children. It is such a burden to have children on a primitive mission field. There is never enough money, always too much work, and parents must endure the heartbreak of having to send their children off to school.

Continue Reading