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“The Trinity Trumpet”

“Seeking Him, Serving Him” 

Volume 41 Number 12               December 2008

 

Pastor's Pen - Numbers - Carol's Notes - Traditions of Christmas


The Pastor’s Pen!!!

As you read this edition of "The Trinity Trumpet" my family & I will be on our way to Turkey to visit with Crystal. We are leaving Wednesday, Dec. 3rd and returning Friday, Dec. 12th. Not only will we have an opportunity to visit with our daughter, but I will be speaking at the international school where she teaches. What an Opportunity, sharing with students from around the world!

I will also be preaching at the International Protestant Church where Crystal attends. Since this is the time of year we celebrate Jesus' Birth, I have been asked to preach about His Birth, which I am more than willing to do. Again, what an Opportunity, sharing the gospel, the message of Christ's Birth, to a nation on the other side of the world. That's what our Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for Foreign Missions is all about, sharing the gospel to anyone & everyone around the world. Jesus said, "Go ye therefore..."?

Turkey is a historical European Nation dating back to biblical times, known as Asia Minor in the Bible. Ankara, Turkey's capital, is biblical Galatia, to whom Paul wrote one of his letters. Modern-day Turkey was established as a nation following World War I. Turkey has over 70 million people, and roughly the size of Texas. Turkey is 99.8% Muslim, with less and 0.2% Christians.

While we are in Turkey, we will be touring the seven Churches of Revelation. All that's left are the ruins, but the significance of the churches remains. Imagine, visiting the places where the seven letters in Revelation were written. Standing at Laodicea, the last Church of the last book of the Bible, & living in the last Days!

Vernon

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November’s Numbers

Sunday School - 73 + 31 (Nursing Home) Worship Service - 101

Nov Receipts $12,379.13 Disbursements $11,293.46

Beginning Checkbook Bal $201.46; Ending Checkbook Bal $1,287.13

Building Fund $43,200.21 Scholarship Fund $8,998.38

YTD Receipts - $40,191.43 - YTD Expenditures - $39,929.91

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Carol's Notes

Mark your calendars for the presentation of "A Night to Remember" on Dec. 14th at Hunting Creek and Dec. 21st at Trinity. What more beautiful way to start the week of Christmas than with a musical celebration of His birth!

Most of you are familiar with the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas". Some consider this simply a "fun" song for children, however, it has been suggested that it is a song of Christian instruction dating back many centuries. Though not corroborated, it can serve to remind us of our rich Christian heritage & the way God's grace can transform our everyday world. Consider this the next time you hear it.

    1st Day - The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus the Christ

    2nd Day - The two turtle doves, the Old & New Testaments

    3rd Day - Three French Hens represent Faith, Hope & Love

    4th Day - Four Calling Birds, the Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John)

    5th Day - Five Golden Rings are the Pentateuch (Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers & Deuteronomy)

    6th Day - Six Gees A-Laying represent the six days of Creation

    7th Day - Seven Swans A-Swimming are the gifts of the Holy Spirit (prophecy, ministry, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading & compassion)

    8th Day - Eight Maids A-Milking represent the Beatitudes (blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger & thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake)

    9th Day - Nine Ladies Dancing, the fruits of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness & self-control)

    10th Day - Ten Lords A-Leaping represent the 10 Commandments

    11th Day - Eleven Pipers Piping represent the eleven faithful apostles (the betrayer is not included)

    12th Day - Twelve Drummers Drumming are the twelve points of the Apostles' Creed: 1) I believe in God the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth. 2) I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son our Lord. 3) He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the virgin Mary. 4) He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell {the grave}. 5) On the third day He rose again and ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. 6) He will come again to judge the living and the dead. 7) I believe in the Holy Spirit. 8) The holy catholic church. 9) The communion of saints. 10) The forgiveness of sins. 11) The resurrection of the body. 12) and life everlasting.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

Carol (Judges 5:3)

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Traditions of Christmas

Christians around the world celebrate Christ's Birth at Christmas. The word "Christmas" comes from Cristes maesse, an English phrase meaning Mass of Christ. Frequently, the word Xmas has replaced Christmas. It is taken from the first letter of Christ's name, Christos, the Greek letter X (chi), written as Xpistos.

While no one knows the exact date of Christ's birth, most Christians celebrate December 25th, except for Eastern Orthodox Christians, who celebrate on January 6th. The first mention of a Christmas celebration comes from a Roman calendar from 336 AD and occurs on December 25th. December 25th was chosen to coincide with a pagan ritual celebrating the Winter Solstice, the longest day of the year, celebrating the passing of the old year and the beginning of a new year. When Rome became officially Christian in 385 under Constantine, the old Roman customs became part of our Christmas celebration.

By 1100, Christmas was the most important religious festival in Europe. Saint Nicholas, and actual priest in Turkey during the 300's, was known for his gift giving. His Dutch name is Sinter-klaas, from which we get Santa Claus. During the 1400's & 1500's painting of the Nativity flourished, but during the Reformation of the 1500's, Christians considered Christmas a pagan celebration, so Christmas was outlawed in England & the English colonies by the 1600's.

Christians continued to celebrate the Birth of Christ and by the 1800's Christmas trees & Christmas cards became very popular, because of a poem by Washington Irving called "Twas the Night Before Christmas." Irving pictured Santa Claus as a jolly old man with a pipe & a big hat. The singing of Christmas Carols dates back to the Greeks dancing to the music of a flute, but by the 1600's singing had replaced the dancing and flute-playing. Many of the Christmas carols we sing today were written during the 1600's as hymns.

The Christmas Tree, originally a paradise tree, came from medieval Germany during the 1500's. Martin Luther added the first Christmas lights & candles, to represent Jesus, the Light of the world. Holly, originally called a holy tree, was used because the green leaves represent life, the red berries remind us of the blood of Jesus, and the sharp pointed leaves remind us of the crown of thorns He wore. At Christmas, we celebrate the Birth of the Son of God. Remember, He was Born to Die! Jesus is the Reason for the Season!

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