Santamas

Santamas – yes it is a made-up word, but it describes what is otherwise called ‘Christmas’. That’s what it looks like to me.

Sorry, I don’t mean to offend anyone, but all the adverts I see are for Santa.

What does he have to do with ‘Christmas’?

Santa cartoon with sack of giftsSanta Claus, also known as Saint Nicholas, Father Christmas, Kris Kringle and simply “Santa”, is a figure with legendary, historical and folkloric origins who, in many Western cultures, is said to bring gifts to the homes of the good children on 24 December, the night before Christmas Day. However, in some European countries children receive their presents on St. Nicholas’ Day, 6 December.[1]

The modern figure of Santa Claus is derived from the Dutch figure of Sinterklaas, whose name is a dialectal pronunciation of Saint Nicholas, the historical Greek bishop and gift-giver of Myra
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus

A couple of interesting points…

The old ‘carol’, ‘While Shepherds Watched their Sheep by Night” locates the shepherds on the hillside with their flocks of sheep.

The Jewish month of Chislev (corresponding to November/December) was a time of cold and rainy weather.

The Old Testament writer Ezra shows that Chislev was indeed a month known for cold and rainy weather. After stating that a crowd had gathered in Jerusalem “in the ninth month [Chislev] on the twentieth day of the month,” Ezra reports that people were “shivering . . . on account of the showers of rain.”

“… and all the people sat in the open square of the house of God, trembling because of this matter, and because of heavy rain.”
Ezra 10: 9a NKJV

And in verse 13 of the same chapter it mentions that it is the season for heavy rain. (Bethlehem is only about six miles from Jerusalem where Ezra and the people were meeting.)

It is hard to fathom why shepherds living in the area would still be out with their flocks at night in December.

Another point…

Santa Claus (or any of his other aliases) brings gifts to people. Mmm. What does that have to do with celebrating the birth of the Saviour, Jesus Christ?

The Magi brought gifts to Him.

Matthew 2:2 tells us that the wise men came looking for a king. They did not ask where they could find the Savior of mankind. They were following the common custom of presenting gifts to royalty or one destined to be a ruling monarch.
http://lifehopeandtruth.com/god/who-is-jesus/why-did-the-wise-men-bring-gifts-to-jesus/

There are many other areas in which it is clear that the day that is celebrated on 25th December each year is Santamas, not Christmas, but these will do – at least for now. smile image made in Word

More musings

Susan

Eleven months on…

Twelve months ago tomorrow, I was told my husband was dying. He only lived three weeks after that. It was a strange and lonely journey through his dying… and, as all who have lost important people will know, a hard trek though a series of ‘firsts’.

But, as Solomon writes in Ecclesiastes,  “…And there is nothing new under the sun.”

I can think of nothing worse, but perhaps these Israelites did. Their freedom came at a great cost.

Deuteronomy 8: 15 – 18

who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; who brought water for you out of the rock of flint; who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end-  then you say in your heart, my power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth. And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish (confirm) His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is today.

This was part of my morning Bible study and I could not help but compare it to these last eleven months since my husband’s death.

v 15a      who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water

Only someone who has ‘lost’ someone precious to him or her would truly understand the great and terrible wilderness of loss, although most could imagine some of it.

Fiery serpent imagev 15b     , in which were fiery serpents and scorpions

The pain in those early weeks was ‘fiery serpents’. Oh how they bit!

 

The scorpions, the sting of realisation that my precious husband, my best friend, was gone.

v 15c      and thirsty land where there was no water

There were only jagged rocks of pain.. oh the pain!

v 15 d    who brought water for you out of the rock of flint;

As I took my pain to Him, by His Spirit, came comfort… till the next time, and it was there again.

v 15 e    who fed you in the wilderness with manna

The truth and the promises all through His word. Eventually, the ‘tearing’ pain eased, but as anyone who has been in this position will know, the pain is always there, in the background… in the foreground sometimes. Those are the times when God’s word and truth provide the necessary help through the loneliness.

Surviving these eleven months has indeed been a test… of faith in God… in trust in God… and in love for God.

So yes, I would have to say that it has done me good in the end.

I cannot foresee ever not missing that special man, but I do know that God has the ‘big picture’ and is working His purpose out.

Physically I am not wealthy. Spiritually, I am working on it. And I know, most surely, that my ‘might’ has not brought me through this time. Comes to mind a phrase in…

1 Cor 4: 7… for what do you have that you did not receive.

Dear God, I need you quote

And I have to recognise the support, and physical help from my daughter, from other family members, and via emails and phone calls, support, love and encouragement to keep ‘walking’  from members of my church.

Susan

Seeking the faith once delivered

Before I  started writing the Apostle John series, I did a huge amount of research and study. Although the book was ‘fiction’, it went through the Gospel of John starting at chapter one.

What has this to do with ‘seeking the faith once delivered’?

Please bear with me, I am seeking the source first.

Look at this version of John 1: 1 – 3

In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He existed in the beginning with God.  God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him.
New Living Translation 

Before Abraham, text

Perhaps it takes more than one reading to see the significance. Please let me share a short excerpt from Hold the Faith

(The Apostle John was speaking)

“Benjamin, if I explain it this way… ‘In the beginning Logos’. That states that the Logos, Christ, was in the beginning with God. ‘Through Him all things were made…’ You wrote that didn’t you?”

Benjamin nodded, wondering where his great-grandfather was going with this.

“Many of the false teachers say that the world was created by an evil angel, you heard that yourself. But those words you have written say that Logos created the world.

This means that He who became Jesus, was the God of the ‘Old Testament’

For most of us, this is (or was when we first heard it) hard to comprehend. The general belief is often that the God of the Old Testament is harsh, whereas Jesus brought grace and mercy.

‘Cutting to the chase’… if Jesus was the God of the Old Testament, then Who better to look to for the ‘faith once delivered’?

Ten commandments drawingHe would have been the One who gave the Ten Commandments.

Many people I have met say that the Old Testament is done away. That leaves me with a question – what were the scriptures that Jesus expounded from?

·

And beginning from Moses and from all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. Luke 24:27  (American Standard Version)

What we call the New Testament today was only being written. The gospels were accounts of Jesus’ life as a Man. The epistles were letters written to churches/ministers to encourage, to teach, uplift and exhort. The scriptures they taught from had to have been from the Old Testament.

So, the faith once delivered?

It’s in the Bible. The whole Bible.

I can see no place in any of my Bibles where it says Jesus did away with what He had originally given. Quite the opposite…

For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.
Matthew 5: 18 English Standard Version

As yet, all is not accomplished.

However, Jesus put a higher standard on the commandments…

But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
Matthew 5: 28  English Standard Version.

Sharing some thoughts,

Susan