The Noel Mystery

Once a year we celebrate a festivity called Christmas

There are many elements in this gaiety known as Christmas ‘Tis the season of giving and receiving ‘Tis a musical of carols and bells ‘Tis a time of miracles and stories ‘Tis the reality of coldness and whiteness

One can find other items: hot chocolate and marshmallows snowballs and sleigh rides hard hearts melting under the gentle touch of love

And someone presenting Dickens’ A Christmas Carol church chimes welcoming the good news of salvation And church choirs singing the songs of redemption children’s faces radiated with the joy of surprise And parents illuminated with the satisfaction that giving brings

All of these are a part of that occasion called Christmas

Yet to end here is to miss the integral piece that lies at the heart of that activity known as Christmas

For you see, Christmas has mystery We do not refer to the legends of Saint Nicholas nor his snow creatures that fly through the night

We do not even refer to the snowflake on the tip of the pine as it catches the light and reflects it in many directions Trees – those symbols of strength and immortality – Decorations – the creative wonders of man’s imagination are not the mystery Lights – the various shades and tints that blink are the man-made stars of delight

Yet these are not the mystery.

What is the mystery? Angelic cantors over the pastures of Israel singing to shepherds A new star beaming with renewed hope for Magi seeking the way A newborn infant lying in a stable of hay surrounded by animals

Wonders of wonders God becomes one with us that we through Him might grasp the light of eternity that fades not away in the dim shadows of night. Mystery – that’s the meaning and reality of Christmas…

G.D. Williams has worked in Adventist higher education for 30+ years and is happily counting down to retirement. His other pursuits include photography, genealogy, collecting antique books, and working on his old farmhouse. This poem was written on December 19, 1980 for the Christmas program at the Frankford SDA Church in Frankford, Kentucky, and is reprinted here with permission from the author.

Photo Credit: FreeImages.com/Derek Boggs

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/7252

During the depth of the Depresion, dad was clerking at his brother in laws Genersl store and was a member of the school board. A farmer sold the school a wagon load of wood. they came to the store to buy groceries. the boys started to grab all the refined foods they could find. dad stopped them and asked the farmer how many loads of fire wood did he have. the farmer said just one. dad said does this load represent your income for the winter. the farmer said yes. dad said this junk food will be gone in a week, what the, The farmer said. what do you suggest. dad loaded him up with a 100 lb sack of flower, and equal amount of corn meal, sugar, salt, a tub of shortening, etc. The farmer left with a wagon load. in the spring the farmer returned to the store and thanked dad, saying “You saved our lives” What a lesson for a boy in the third grade. Tom Z

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what a lovely poem to think and feel through as i’m sitting here in phoenix’s downtown, which certainly wouldn’t know what to do with snow if it fell anywhere near here, although it certainly does know what to do with christmas lights and other pleasant christmas decorations…i’ve started reading the 21st volume of manuscript releases, and a remarkable passage i’ve already found is:

“Among all who walk in harmony with God, there must be perfect freedom from all the natural passions of the human heart. All who give themselves to the service of Christ will follow the example of Christ, and will be perfect overcomers. When self ceases to wrestle for the supremacy, and the heart is worked by the Holy Spirit, the soul lies perfectly passive, and then the image of God is mirrored upon the heart, the soul is in accord with the mind of God, and human identity is lost in Jesus Christ.” pp. 2-3.

this whole “christ in you, the hope of glory” theme, Col. 1:27, is one i hope to experience more of in 2016…humanity is so privileged to explore and live out this christ-human combination while we pass through this fallen world…

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Before going to the accursed tree to bear the world’s load of sin, Christ said to His disciples: “The world hated me — they hated me without a cause.” Should we cooperate in chanting “Christmas” carols with those who crucify Christ? Have we forgotten that the world’s last treatment of our Lord caused Him to cry “Reproach hath broken my heart . . . I looked for some to take pity, but there was none.” Psalms 69:20.

We will search our Bibles in vain for any hint of “Christmas.” Absolutely nothing is said as to the exact date of Christ’s birth, not even the month being given!! Nor can we find any suggestion concerning our “celebration” of His birth and there is no hint that any of the early church ever did such a thing.

December 13 is my birthday. For years I really wished I could have changed that. My family and friends meant well when they promised to remember me “in an extra special way” on Christmas Day. I don’t remember any special birthday parties or getting any bigger Christmas gift as a result of having postponed, cancelled, or deferred celebrations of my birthday
Only those who are impudent and blasphemous will profess to celebrate His birthday while making no effort to find out what will please Him. “Without faith it is impossible to please Him.” And “faith cometh by hearing and hearing, by the word of God.” Heb. 11:6; Rom. 10:17. On our birthdays, who gets the gifts? Is your birthday deliberately changed so as to coincide with Hirohito’s and Hitler’s in order to favorably attract your bitter and cruel enemies ? To all believers with tender consciences, the Holy Spirit’s words are sufficient: “What agreement bath the temple of God with idols . . . wherefore come out from among them and be ye separate, saith the Lord.” We can no longer innocently observe this imitation of the pagan Sun-Worshippers’ winter festival to the Sun and its supposed “mother.” Their annual feasts of Saturnalia and Maternalia were characterized by unspeakably filthy sexual practices. Surely none but those who are “lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God” will stubbornly disobey our Lord’s clear command to “Touch not the unclean thing.” 2nd Cor. 6:14 — 7:2.

However, both Commercial Babylon and Religious Babylon are built upon the satanic supposition that “gain is godliness,” therefore they will thank no loyal and intelligent Christian who seeks to expose their wicked and adulterous mixture — their impudent and profane thrusting the holy name of Christ into this popish-pagan fraud that was consistently condemned by all spiritual Christians up to about ninety years ago. (Read the encyclopedias and history on this subject.) Since God’s Word tells us nothing about any “birthday celebrations” for Christ, and since it does say that “whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23), the humble child of God will step out of the pagan procession to please the One whose birthday is mockingly being celebrated by the very crowd and satanic system that murdered Him.

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Is this an inference that Christians should ignore this special day celebrated by half the world as a happy time?

If investigation were made on all Christian beliefs we would discover that most of them seen as sacred today were of pagan gods and goddesses and myths amazingly similar to Christian stories.

Jesus’ conception and birth and prophecies claimed to be predicting his birth were all taken out of the original context and reinterpreted as referring to Jesus.

As the majority of Christians, Adventists included, know little of the pagan origin of these Bible stories, why destroy the illusions if these harmless illusions give meaning to this special time for all?

The internet site: POCM (Pagan origins of Christian Myths covers this.

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