Snippets from the interweb (26th December 2021)

Celebrating Christmas… when and why?

When did Christians start celebrating Christmas and why land on the 25th December?

6 things Christmas means for church leaders in tough situations

This one is worth reading even if you’re not a church leader as it is just as relevant to anyone struggling. ‘I wish I could tell every one of my young students that ministry will always be easy and churches will always be supportive. That’s not always the case, though. Sometimes this work is just hard. If that’s the case for you today, I hope these thoughts encourage and strengthen you. Here’s what the Christmas story means for you today.’

This season reveals the false gospels that are competing with the true gospel in Western culture

‘Yesterday I was driving back from the swimming pool listening to the radio when “Santa Claus is coming to Town” was played. As I listened to the lyrics I was struck again that Christmas is the time of year when four of the major competing “gospels” that dominate western culture come into sharpest focus. It is an opportunity to reflect on the worldviews of our neighbours and to ask whether we are in danger of functionally believing one of these false gospels rather than the one true gospel.’

Safe from men’s prying eyes

‘Everybody knows that virgins don’t conceive! Mary certainly knew that. After all, she asked the Angel Gabriel at the announcement that she would conceive and bear a Son, “How can this be, since I do not know a man” (Luke 1:34)? The answer is, of course, the same as that which is given to the question surrounding the mysterious miracle working of God at creation.’

O come let us adore him

I liked this one. I think you will too.

History ended at Christmas

John Piper: ‘To use the apostle Paul’s very words: “When the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons” (Galatians 4:4–5). That first Christmas marked the fullness of time. Or to say it another way, history ended on Christmas’

From the archive: Horus ruins Christmas (twice)

‘I have posted these before, but as it’s Christmas Day and there are people who still insist that some stupid memes doing the rounds are definitely true (I have the advantage of being married to an Ancient Historian who is quite clear they’re not), it seems worth putting them here again.’