By Spencer D Gear PhD
What foolishness or funnies should we expect at Christmastime? Christmas should have nothing to do with jingle bells, Christmas lights, Santa and the sleighs. How did they seep into this holy celebration?
According to history.com, the legend of Santa Claus dates back to about the third century when Saint Nicholas walked the earth. He was the patron saint of children. The shopping mall Santas were promoted by two New Yorkers, Clement Clark Moore and Thomas Nast. They had the major influences on the Santa Claus theory that millions of children anticipate on Christmas Eve.
Bells were a popular form of communication in the Middle Ages (AD 475-1400) and were usually rung from the largest building in the city, which was usually a church. The reason was to communicate a time of the day when an important person arrived or an important announcement was made. They were used to indicate the beginning and end of various events.
Ignorance of nativity
(courtesy Clipart Library)
Recently, I went to the entrance of a leading department store and asked to be directed to a department where I might purchase a small nativity scene. The woman looked bewildered, “What do you want?” I had to explain that nativity referred to birth, and especially the birth of Jesus Christ. A non-Christian friend responded: “You should have expected that. We are not a Christian country but a secular nation.” Is that so?
The Australian Constitution’s introduction
What does the Preamble of the Australian Constitution state?
The Oxford English Dictionary asks: “What a truly great mystery is the Nativity of our Lord!”
The introduction (preamble) of the Australian Constitution reads:
An Act to constitute the Commonwealth of Australia
[9th July 1900]
WHEREAS the people of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Queensland, and Tasmania, humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God, have agreed to unite in one indissoluble Federal Commonwealth under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and under the Constitution hereby established. . . .
This introduction is part of the Act and demonstrates Australia is a nation built on a Christian foundation that seeks the blessing of the God Almighty (revealed in the Scriptures of Old and New Testaments).
We still are in severe drought in many parts of Australia. We must not be embarrassed to talk about the Lord God sending the rain after the drought we are still experiencing in some parts of the nation. After all, Australia’s Christian foundation is demonstrated each day when the President of the House of Representatives reads a Christian prayer. Christian values brought to Australia by the First Fleet and enshrined in the Australian Constitution include: ‘Humbly relying on the blessing of Almighty God’.
The real Christmas event
This is related to the commemoration of the birth of Jesus Christ on the first Christmas Day. The Scriptures record the Nativity scenes in Matthew 1-2 and Luke 1-2. While there are some differences in the records, there are some points in common.
The basic narrative is that Mary and Joseph travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem. There they found no room for them in the inn, so the baby Jesus, when born, was placed in a manger. Such a humble birth was celebrated by choirs of angels and shepherds. Gifts were brought by the Magi. This version appears in Christmas carols and stable scenes. They are used for Christian liturgical readings during the Christmas season.
The manger is not like a baby’s crib (basket) today but was a “long trough from which horses and cattle fed” (Oxford English Dictionary). What a humble beginning for the birth of the Saviour! He died in similar circumstances where there was no exaltation but a humble, excruciating death by crucifixion.
Don’t miss the truth for the glitter!
God sends the rain and withholds it.
Foreign idols don’t have the power to bring rain.
The sky does not have the power to send down showers of rain.
You, the Lord our God, are our only hope.
You are the one who made all these things (Jeremiah 14:22 (ERV).
What should we learn from this verse? No foreign gods, including secularism of any sort, have the power to bring rain. No meteorologist (in spite of satellite technology to see the clouds) can cause the rain to fall.
There’s a similar message proclaimed for all people according to this New Testament passage:
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous (Matt 5:44-45 NIV).
We know who sends the rain and it’s time for the Australian media, politicians and ordinary folks to own up: “We do know that Almighty God sends the rain but we are not prepared to bow down to His laws.” Therefore, the more we pursue secular values, the more droughts, floods, and other disasters we can expect to come from the hand of God who showed what he could do with drought and floods.
See my articles:
Copyright © 2021 Spencer D. Gear. This document last updated at Date: 06 November 2021.