Shepherds and Academics
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GoodSalt.com-dmtas0009

Shepherds and academics do not appear to have a lot in common, but I grew up on a small sheep farm and later became an academic. Both jobs can be quite lonely at times. I can remember as quite a young lad having to go around our  small flock of about 200 sheep in the evening, checking that they were OK. In stormy weather in the lambing season I would ensure that lambs were with their mothers, and not wandering […]

The First Advent Is Good News
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angelchoir

During this time of year much of the world turns its attention to the Bible account of the first Advent of Christ. You can read about it in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2. Just as the angels of heaven brought “good news” to the shepherds, this is a good time for us to share the good news of Jesus with our friends and neighbors.

Jesus saw in every soul one to whom must be given the call to His kingdom. He reached the […]

None to Welcome Him
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nativity-st-pete

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking,  “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.” King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem.  He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to […]

Cleansing of the Sanctuary Message in Christmas Carols
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http://www.goodsalt.com/details/lwjas0042.html?r=ssnet

Image © Lars Justinen from GoodSalt.com

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born upon this day*
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy-Published by William B. Sandys in 1833. Author unknown.

There is some good theology in these older Christmas carols as well as some of the new.

The writer of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” knew the power of the gospel when he […]

A Detour
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GoodSalt.com-pppas0119

At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire.  (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.)  All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census.  And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee.  He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who […]

The Christmas Spirit
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Image © Darrel Tank from GoodSalt.com

It was my first Christmas season in Florida. Shortly after Thanksgiving, a father showed up to our Bible study, very discouraged. It was his daughter’s 11th birthday, and due to finances at home he did not have a single dime to buy her a gift. Several days later, I was surprised when his daughter called me at the church, asking to put an ad in the church bulletin. She was organizing a group at her school to collect Christmas gifts […]

* Christmas Comments *
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25thc

Your Comment May Not Be Posted. Here`s Why:

Because we have a limited staff of volunteers and no budget we are forced by circumstances to limit the kinds of comments concerning the subject of Christmas. We are Seventh-day Adventist Christians who believe in Scripture and the ministry of Ellen White. Therefore, the response to comments by our moderators will conform to the balanced principles found in both of these sources.

Origin of Christmas — Does It […]

The Meaning of Christmas
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GoodSalt.com-lwjas0125c

Be it admitted from the start that we do not know the day on which our Lord was born. His early biographers did not think it of sufficient importance to record. 1

We do not know why the church chose to celebrate that birth when they did. Perhaps to stay concealed from Roman sight, perhaps to assimilate converts more easily, perhaps because old traditions told them that it was the day, after all. But they chose better than they knew, when […]