Hanukkah and Herald Angels

“O hush the noise, ye men of strife, and hear the angels sing.” (Edmund Sears)
Mark the day. It was October 20 this year when I saw the first Christmas advertisement on television. “Christmas,” someone has said, “is the time of year that we give a present to the department stores.” To this sort of excess, I have two words for you, and the second one is “humbug”!
Tinsel and ribbon, constant “carols” piped in through loud speakers and radio stations, sentiment and spending, drinking overindulgence, greed and avarice, the clutter and loudness all drown out any spiritual meaning that might have played a part in this season.
I don’t know if Christmas was originally a pagan holiday as some claim. I know for a certainty that it is now!
It wasn’t about drummer boys, wooly sheep, and a cherubic baby. It was about something infinitely more serious, wonderful, and magnificent. Folks, it isn’t you-know-who who “sees us when were sleeping,” who knows “when we’ve been good or bad.”
As the great hymn reminds us, following the announcement of the angels have rolled “two thousand years of wrong.” Whatever else we can say about the arrival of Immanuel, this much is true: Humanity needed, and desperately still needs, his presence with us.
How utterly astonishing that the angels proclaimed: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests” (Luke 2:14).
This, history’s first “Christmas Carol,” reminds us that “God’s favor,” his grace and mercy, lies on us, however unmerited and undeserved it may be.
Remember that the child who arrived in a stable left an empty grave. Remember that he doesn’t ask for our sentiment, he demands our commitment.

If Christmas didn’t begin as a pagan holiday, it certainly is now!

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Stan Mitchell

Stan began preaching in 1976, and worked in Zimbabwe, California, Texas and Tennessee. He served as preacher with the Red Walnut Church of Christ in Bath Springs, TN. He was Professor of Bible at Freed-Hardeman University. He was married to the former Marjorie McCarthy, and has one daughter, Tracy Watts. He authored five books: The Wise Get Wiser, the Foolish More Foolish: The Book of Proverbs; Give the Winds a Mighty Voice: Our Worship in Song; Equipping the Saints for Ministry; and Will Our Faith Have Children: Developing Leadership in the Church for the Next Generation. Stan passed away 19 Feb. 2019.

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