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Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

Redeeming Holy Days-Candlemas/Presentation

Candlemas is February 2nd, forty days after the birth of Christ it is the Festival of the Purification of Mary. The Gospel Lesson for this festival is Luke 2:22-40. Perhaps this particular festival does not loom as large in significance to many Christian readers. Even more unfortunately, it seems to be overlooked in Lutheranism today. The theological importance of Christ’s presentation at the Temple, Mary’s fulfillment of the Law of Purification, the meeting with Simeon and Anna, and the words of Simeon to Mary and the Nunc Dimittis are essential to appreciating the Humiliation of the Son of God when   More…

“A Twelve-Year-Old Boy, Filled with Wisdom” (Sermon on Luke 2:40-52, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

January 3rd, 2015 2 comments

“A Twelve-Year-Old Boy, Filled with Wisdom” (Luke 2:40-52) When I was twelve years old, I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Pretty impressive, eh? No, pretty stupid, actually. Because, at twelve years old, I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon . . . without telling anyone. Let me explain. This was back in the days of train travel, and my mother, grandmother, sister, and I were taking the train from Chicago to Los Angeles for a family reunion. When we got to Arizona, there was an option to get off the train, get on a bus,   More…

“Depart in Peace” (Sermon on Luke 2:22-40, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

December 27th, 2014 No comments

“Depart in Peace” (Luke 2:22-40) Are you ready to go? What I mean is, are you ready to leave? No, I don’t mean right at this very moment. It would be nice if you would stick around till the end of the service. But then, at the end of the service, will you be ready to leave? By that I mean, will you be ready to leave in peace, satisfied and content and ready for whatever comes next? What makes you ready to leave, to leave any situation? For instance, this year is coming to a close. Are you ready   More…

“Watershed Moments: Jesus’ Birth and Our Own” (Sermon on John 1:1-18 and Titus 3:4-7, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

December 25th, 2014 No comments

“Watershed Moments: Jesus’ Birth and Our Own” (John 1:1-18; Titus 3:4-7) Today is Christmas Day. This is the day for celebrating the greatest birth in the history of the world, the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The birth of Christ marks the watershed moment in all of human history. By a “watershed moment,” I mean a moment so significant that it marks a division between what went before and what comes after. And so it is with the birth of Christ. We even divide up time according to it: “B.C.,” “Before Christ,” and “A.D.,” “Anno Domini,” “In   More…

“What Christmas Is All About: God Saving Us, in a Humble Way, to Be His People” (Sermon by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

December 24th, 2014 No comments

“What Christmas Is All About: God Saving Us, in a Humble Way, to Be His People” (Luke 2:1-20; Titus 2:11-14; Isaiah 9:2-7) What is Christmas all about? How do people view Christmas and celebrate it? Why do they look forward to it? Or do they? Some people get burned out on Christmas and want to avoid it. But most folks still like to maintain the custom of celebrating Christmas. Why? What is it about this holiday that makes it so special? I think there is something about this holiday that is special, but it may not be the same as   More…

Mark and Avoid: Tarico Says God is “Rapey”

December 23rd, 2014 11 comments

It’s that time of the year! Not just that time when pastors see some of their members finally darken the door of the Church for the Christmas Eve service, but it’s also that time of the year when the anti-Christian zealots come out of the woodwork in full force to discredit the saving work of Christ Jesus for sinners as contained in the Holy Scriptures. This often takes the form of History Channel documentaries on the authenticity of the Gospels in relation to the Gnostic Gospels that the big, bad Church kept secret during its early years. This time, however,   More…

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies: Christmas and Saturnalia

December 22nd, 2014 6 comments

Did Christianity Steal the Date of Pagan Winter Solstice Celebrations? The Roman celebration discussed in this article is the multi-day festival of Saturnalia. The Mis-Use of Roman Sources: Saturnalia In these articles we have seen the texts from the early Christians that show their reasons why they calculated particular dates for the Incarnation and Birth of Christ. These dates were based on the Passover texts. Even their calculation for the dates of the Creation of the universe centered on the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ at the Passover. Saturnalia Saturnalia is often talked about as if it were the same   More…

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies: Christmas and Sigillaria

Do the Nativity sets Christians use actually have their origins in the pagan Roman festival called Sigillaria? Sigillaria Macrobius in Saturnalia 1.11.46-50 discusses the Sigillaria–a festival that involves the purchase and giving of little human figures and candles. The fact that little figurines were used in this pagan Roman festival is the basis for the claim that Christians stole this idea to make their own Nativity Sets. This festival, Sigillaria, seems to have been a market day rather than a religious feast, but is closely associated with Saturnalia. And there too, the date has nothing to do with the dates   More…

Krampus: A Better Law/Gospel Paradigm Than Santa Claus

December 5th, 2014 6 comments

December 6th is the day the Church remembers and gives thanks to God for the life and confession of St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra. This is from Concordia Publishing House’s Treasury of Daily Prayer: “Of the many saints commemorated by the Christian Church, Nicholas (d. AD 342) is one of the best known. Very little is known historically of him, though there was a church of Saint Nicholas in Constantinople as early as the sixth century. Research has affirmed that there was a bishop by the name of Nicholas in the city of Myra in Lycia (part of modern Turkey)   More…

“Rachel Weeping, and a Son Called out of Egypt” (Sermon on Matthew 2:13-23, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

December 28th, 2013 No comments

“Rachel Weeping, and a Son Called out of Egypt” (Matthew 2:13-23) “To us a child is born, to us a son is given.” And his name is Jesus, of course. This child born in Bethlehem at Christmas. This son–Son of God, son of Mary–this son given to us to be our Savior. But what happens when Jesus is born? What happens when God gives his Son to the world? A whole bunch of bad stuff, apparently. A king goes crazy. A family has to flee to Egypt. Babies are killed. Mothers are weeping. And this is a gift?? Some kind   More…

Christmas Catharsis

December 26th, 2013 3 comments

There’s nothing like a family gathering to raise the blood pressure. If your family is anything like mine, you’ve probably experienced your share of holiday drama (but that’s why we love our families, right?). Things are said and done—often not out of malice, but ignorance—but we can only take so much before the pressure becomes so great that we finally burst. When this happens, it’s not pretty. The typical aggressive and passive aggressive ways of dealing with our frustrations (screaming matches and gossiping with others) are poor surrogates for true relief and only add fuel to the fire. But as   More…

“The Miracles of Christmas” (Sermon on John 1:1-18, by Pr. Charles Henrickson)

December 24th, 2013 No comments

“The Miracles of Christmas” (John 1:1-18) On this Christmas morning, I want to tell you about the miracles of Christmas. That’s right, “miracles,” plural. There are two great Christmas miracles proclaimed in our text today from John chapter 1. One is that the Son of God became man, and the other is that, because he did, we become the children of God. These are “The Miracles of Christmas” I want to talk to you about today. First, the Son of God became man. What a profound mystery this is for us to ponder! There is nothing more marvelous or wonderful   More…

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies — Christmas and Sol Invictus

December 19th, 2013 4 comments

We are reposting this from Dec 4, 2012:   Did Christianity Steal the Date of Sol Invictus? The claim is that Sol Invictus “Invincible Sun” is a more ancient pagan holiday in Rome celebrated on December 25th. The claim assumes that this pagan holiday was so popular and dangerous that the Christian Church sought to suppress it by establishing the celebration of Christ’s Nativity on December 25th. By doing this, the claim continues, the Christians adopted the pagan day and some of the practices of that pagan festival to make the celebration of Christmas more appealing to pagans. Remember first   More…

Redeeming Holy Days from Pagan Lies — Christmas

December 18th, 2013 1 comment

We are reposting this from Dec 3rd, 2012:   Of the major Christian Holy Days, Christmas, Easter and Pentecost are the high points in the Historic Church Year. On these Holy Days we celebrate God the Father’s gift of His only-begotten Son in the birth of Jesus Christ, we celebrate God the Son’s gift of His life, sufferings, death and resurrection at Passover/Easter, and we celebrate God the Holy Spirit’s gift of calling us to faith and dwelling in us through Word and Sacrament. These Holy Days are also one of the main fronts in the battle against Christianity by   More…

The Good News That Christmas Is For Sinners

December 17th, 2013 No comments

An Advent Midweek Sermon Preached at Zion Lutheran Church, Gwinner, ND. Grace and Peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Our readings for this evening are from this past Sunday’s Divine Service. As you can recall from this past Sunday we looked at Jesus as the one who was born into humanity and then journeyed towards our sin on the cross. On Sunday we heard that Jesus is the sinless Lamb of God who was born into this world for sinners. Indeed, we heard that two-thousand years ago Jesus approached your sin in His birth   More…

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