Christmas Eve Open Forum – December 24, 2010

For unto us a child is born; unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder.—Isaiah 9:6

The account of the announcement of the birth of Jesus to the shepherds is one of the most hauntingly beautiful accounts ever written. The shepherds near Bethlehem were keeping watch over their flock by night. The night was dark and peaceful. Sheep-herding is a lonely occupation and a strenuous one. Grazing sheep range far and wide, and need constant watching lest they stray. Being defenseless creatures, they must be watched over by the shepherds, lest lions, bears, or wolves attack them while they sleep. These shepherds, although humble men, were necessarily rough and tough men. They were almost constantly isolated; unused to the stir and excitement of city life. The account says they were “abiding in the field.” This was their home. Their roof was the vault of heaven. They lived under the stars. There was a sameness and monotony in their lives. Every day was the same. Day in and day out, in silence, broken only by the plaintive cries of the sheep, the rustle of the wind in the grass, and the occasional distant howl of the wolf. Nothing exciting ever happened. That is, not until that night.

Suddenly they saw the most glorious sight that human eyes ever beheld!—”the glory of the LORD shone round about them!” This was no ordinary glory. This was the glory of Jehovah God himself! There is no greater glory.

We do not know the exact form or dimension this glory took; but it was a most magnificent sight! Is it any wonder that “they were sore afraid?” Then came the reassuring voice of the angel of the Lord: “Fear not, for behold, I being you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people; for unto you is born, this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:10, 11). We may think we may have witnessed something wonderful when we attended a great symphony concert or a grand opera performance, but these pale into miserable insignificance when compared with what followed the angels’ announcement that night: “A multitude of the heavenly host praising God!” We sometimes refer to the best music we know as “heavenly music.” This was real heavenly music! Real angelic voices that were exquisitely delightful to the human ear. That is what the entranced shepherds heard; shepherds to whom “nothing exciting ever happened!”

Why was all this wasted on those simple shepherds? Why was not so glorious an announcement made to the great religious leaders of the day?—to the chief priests, Pharisees, or scribes? Because this was a fine demonstration of God’s established principle: “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble” (James 4:6). These humble shepherds were willing and enthusiastic couriers of the Good News. They did not waste a moment to visit the child. They said, “Let us now go, even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass; which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger” (Luke 2:15, 16).

70 Responses to Christmas Eve Open Forum – December 24, 2010

  1. sundancecracker says:

  2. *yawn*

    Morning dahlings.

    If you have ever found yourself running to The Walmart at 5:30 AM on Christmas Eve for milk and walking out one half hour and 117 bucks later going “What the hell just happened?”, I am here to tell you that you are not alone.

    Good post SD – will re-read when am actually awake.

    TTFN.

  3. TNWAHM says:

    Good morning honeys and Merry Christmas!
    My dh took our daughter to early dialysis ~they left @ 5:30 a.m.~ so that I could pack to go to my parents in NW AR. He’s panicked about the weather though ~there’s threat of wintry mix.~ He doesn’t realize how many times we braved rain/snow and ice to get to grandma’s in MI when i was a kid. My dad followed many an 18 wheeler out of MI and past Chicago. My siblings and I always prayed to get snowed in, but we never did.

    Beautiful recap of the Christmas story Sundance. I am truly blessed to be a part of such a great group of patriots.

    • Pat P says:

      Ironically, southeast Michigan is cloudy, but dry. Cold and snow on the ground. Maybe snow tomorrow.

      Drive safely, and have a wonderful Christmas.

  4. TNWAHM says:

    Merry Christmas from Herman Cain.

  5. llauren11 says:

    good morning everyone, i for one am so weary of hearing about the “comeback kid” and how he has been so compromising with repubs..heck, i say just give him some more time and he’ll probably make a few more blunders..
    am also disappointed in mitch mcconnell for caving in so easily.. hoping january and the new year will bring in some stalwarts who will know how to “handle” these dems!

  6. GracieD says:

    This guy is an aquaintance of mine from many years ago. His personal life is a testimony of God’s Love and Forgiveness.

  7. GracieD says:

    More M.E. Christmas….

  8. Pat P says:

    For those with little ones in the house, don’t forget to track Santa with NORAD:

    http://www.noradsanta.org/

  9. French reader says:

    To all at Honeytrail, may the joy of Christmas be with you.

    • yomotley says:

      Huh, this was a prayer of yours? A sewage spill? Am I reading this correctly? You prayed for a disaster to ruin The Obama Family Trip? I must be missing something; perhaps you could enlighten me. (Sorry if I am misinterpreting).

  10. Thanks for the Celtic Woman; I love them. Merry Christmas to all.
    Btw, I so totally agree with llauren11.

  11. Auntie Lib says:

    Happy Christmas Eve, everyone!

    We made it safely to Portland and even missed almost all of the rush hour traffic as we got into the metro area. Dumped the presents and dinner fixin’s off at the kids’ house, checked into the motel and crashed. Have a few last-minute errands t run today, but no big hassles.

    Love to all – may each and every one of you experience all the joys and blessings of this holy season.

  12. wendy ann says:

    Many thanks to SundanceCracker for the beautiful post…made me weepy!

  13. frankie says:

    Christmas Blessing to all who abide here – to you and yours, wishes for a beautiful and joyous celebration of the Birth Of Jesus Christ.

    Sundancecracker – thank you for that wonderful story of the Christmas story – it painted a mental picture I’ve never thought of previously. The Shephards are kind of overlooked in story but what an important part they played – as relayed in your telling of the story.

    Also thanks to all for music of the day – love Celtic Woman, Michael English and the others. One of my favorites for this day is Micahel Crawford but I don’t know how to post a link to any of his beautiful Christmas songs.

    Peace to all of you this Christmas from my house to all of yours!

    • I held off posting Micahel Crawford’s rendition of “O Holy Night”, becuase I didn’t want to compete with the beautiful rendition done by Celtic Woman. But his rendition does remain one of my favorites, too. Since it’s one of your favorites, too, I’ll go ahead and post it….

  14. Ting says:

    I’m too tired for eloquence, and not particularly good at it anyway, but I just want to say to all of you darling Honeys “Merry, merry Christmas and thanks be to God for each one of you.”

  15. Grazing sheep range far and wide, and need constant watching lest they stray. Being defenseless creatures, they must be watched over by the shepherds, lest lions, bears, or wolves attack them while they sleep.

    The LORD is my shepherd;
    I shall not want.
    He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
    He leads me beside the still waters.
    He restores my soul;
    He leads me in the paths of righteousness
    For His name’s sake.

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
    I will fear no evil;
    For You are with me;
    Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

    You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
    You anoint my head with oil;

    My cup runs over.
    Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
    All the days of my life;
    And I will dwell in the house of the LORD
    Forever.

    Psalm 23

    • That’s two separate quotes, but this WordPress theme makes it look like one. If I had put my own text between the two quotes, I would have said that we need a shepherd, too. Especially to protect us from the wolves in sheeps clothing.

      “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

      Matthew 7:15

      “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.

      Matthew 10:16

  16. sundancecracker says:

    The author of this article describes a bizarre incident near his home: A woman threw gasoline on her husband, hurled a lit oil lamp at him and hit him in the head with an exercise weight. She then spread gasoline around the house and lit a piece of paper. Her husband ran to a neighbor’s home and called 911.

    When police arrived, they found the home ablaze and the woman was in a locked car in the driveway, stabbing her chest with a screwdriver. She drove off when the police approached. Police put down stop spike strips disabling her vehicle. They saw her again stabbing herself in the chest with a screwdriver, using a hammer to drive it in. The woman’s name is Rhonda Arkley.

    The events described are sad, if not tragic. Mrs. Arkley’s son had recently died of a heroin overdose. One can only have sympathy for her and her family. It is noteworthy, however, that Mrs. Arkley is not a random Minnesotan–rather, she was the Democratic Party’s candidate for the Minnesota Senate in 2002 in District 37, my district. In that race, she received an “A” rating from the National Organization of Women. She is a prominent member of Minnesota’s atheist community. And she is on record as believing that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is “nutty.”

    That last, of course, is an article of faith among liberals. But the contrast is a striking one: Congresswoman Bachmann is, in fact, a woman of great serenity, substantial professional accomplishment, invariably sunny disposition, and almost unnatural energy; she is the mother of five and foster mother of 23 children. This sad anecdote from my neighborhood illustrates a commonplace of sociology: scratch a conservative and you will almost always find a happy person; scratch a liberal and you are likely to encounter a seething cauldron of disappointment and rage.http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2010/12/027991.php

    I’ve said it numerous times, and I say it again. “Liberalism is a Mental Disorder“. It robs the soul, feeds insecurity, and defies all concept of natural laws or universal principles. On its margins Liberalism is EVIL.

    • Kristi says:

      Whoa……

      Very sad her son died… but … good grief.. what a NUT.

      And not surprising she is a liberal. I think its a mental disorder too.

    • wendy ann says:

      I have been saying the same thing for years about Liberals – unhappy and angry …but Sundancecracker, you said it way more eloquently!

  17. sundancecracker says:

  18. sundancecracker says:

  19. I am approaching the end of this year somewhat shellshocked by everything that’s happened. Numb, in many ways. A lot of the stuff people post, while interesting, doesn’t provoke much of an emotional response from me. This one did, so I’m sharing it here in case some of you hadn’t seen it before:

    http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=letsmix&feature=iv&annotation_id=annotation_760614

  20. sundancecracker says:

  21. sundancecracker says:

  22. Jennifer H says:

    Hello fellow Hikers…
    Just stopping in for a moment to check in, I wanted to say how Thankful I am to Truly have a safe place to educate myself and share my thoughts and opinions about our world, politics, religion, family and conservatism.
    Merry Christmas to you all!
    Once again a heartfelt Thank you each and every one who comments and contributes to this site. I am grateful and with this grattitude in mind I rejoice. :)

  23. Kristi says:

    Merry Christmas everyone!

    I hope you all have a wonderful time with family and friends.

  24. My biggest challenge: not to judge life by the “season” that I’m in right now…

    http://www.openmyeyeslord.net/theseasonsoflife.htm

  25. I wanted to extend my wishes for a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all the “Honey’s” here.
    Please God 2011 will be a better year for us all.

  26. emmajeri1010 says:

    FtN, I know you’re so tired from surviving all the events of the last year.

    Thanks for all the beautiful things posted here…due to server/hardware/hookup limitations I won’t be able to watch any of the videos–so I will just imagine how beautiful they are.

    I am everlastingly grateful that God did Christmas. All we ever do is a remembrance of Christmas that, hopefully, becomes the context in which we worship the One, our Savior. The reality of Christmas is such a fine and marvelous thing that even if we come to it with dings and dents on our souls, a blister or two on our spirits…..it’s ok. We don’t make Christmas. Keep that in mind….any of you who are feeling dinged and dented.

    Merry Christmas….we did our last fly-through of Walmart and Fleet Farm (here in Minnesota Fleet Farm is kind of like Macy’s in New York….no exclamation point. I’m quite serious.) Anyway, we did that this morning….I encountered so many lovely people who were, every last one of them, in fine fettle and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas! At every salvation Army bucket we saw, there were live people singing Christmas Carols (including that actually made specific reference to Jesus, the Christ, who was born in Bethlehem)….right in public and outloud and none of the buildings fell down.

    There’s a bubbling up (partly energized by righteous anger) that is buoying spirits, I believe. We are not taking the onslaught sitting down and silent any more. And I thought what I saw today was a bunch of people who are wide awake, cheerful on purpose and trusting God to help us in our fight.

    Merry Christmas to all of you dears….I won’t call you imaginary friends. You’re quite real, and I count on your friendship. Merry Christmas….see you on the trail tomorrow….

    • butchcracker says:

      Wonderful! Wow…I so enjoy your eloquent writting! I wanted to write last night…alas,were quite busy getting for the little crackers(oysteretts)
      I too feel this AMAZING energy. I first noticed in ALL the Christmas lights on all the homes. We ARE AWAKE AND ENERGIZED!! You are ever so correct….well off to make breakfast for the crackers..we adore you! God Bless You..

  27. Shalini says:

    Hi all! Came back after attending the midnight mass an hour ago and now I am completely stuffed! Just checking in to wish you all a merry Christmas. :)

  28. I just dropped by to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!

  29. TXMom says:

    My family’s tradition is gathering together for Christmas Eve Dinner. Early this morning, I prepared to wash veggies for the stuffing and the side dishes. Surprise plumbing problem! Can’t use the kitchen sinks. Hubby is working and no plumber available. I thought that I could, at least, roast the turkey. oooops. Power went out! Thank goodness I immediately tended to mom’s needs by sealing off her airbed and hooking up her portable O2. As of 2:30pm today, still no water or power. Major change in course desired. Tonight, for dinner, everyone will be served appetizers and a personal tea candle! LOL Actually, our family decided that this was very cool…..no television, no computers, no Wii, no radio (they are not aware of my emergency radio. heh.) We have this opportunity to do nothing, relax by the fire and candlelight, and totally enjoy each other. What a precious gift that is. WoooooHooooo!

    I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and God’s guidance and blessings throughout the year for you and your families!

  30. Thomas Hooker says:

    Wishing all the Honey Trail Hikers a blessed Christmas. Thank you for making this community a special place. Love to all of you.

  31. Kristi says:

    Have a great night everyone!

    Our tradition is to go to a Jewish Deli for dinner on Christmas eve. Its the only thing open. ha.

  32. WeeWeed says:

    Merry Christmas, Honeys! I’ve left a note for dear old Santa to bring our republicans cojones for their stockings and to leave them backbones under the tree! Y’all be safe and have a blessed Christmas!

  33. Ting says:

    For some reason this Christmas I have had the distinct feeling that the torch has been passed from my parents to me. This is odd because my mother is very much alive, independent, and perky, and I have hosted the Christmas festivities for years and years now, but somehow this year has felt different. I decided to get my Dad’s Bible out for the reading tonight from St. Luke, and there I found a photo of me in all my 8 year old glory and a folded up memo from my Dad’s boss to all bank officers, dated December 24, 1962. When I started to read it I thought, “Wow , just wow!” and I knew that I would have to take a moment to share it with all of you fellow warriors. It is a copy of the Wall Street Journal editorial for that day, and a note from the bank president that says:

    “Excellence in all things is ever to be sought. I do not know when I have ever seen a more powerfully written editorial. It should be in every man’s file for re-reading along the years ahead. This is quality. This is excellence.”

    And now the editorial, please forgive typos because I am rushing like mad before my hungry family arrives”

    In Hoc Anno Domini

    When Saul of Tarsus set out on his journey to Damascus the whole of the world lay in bondage. There was one state, and it was Rome. There was one master for it all, and he was Tiberius Caesar.

    Everywhere there was civil order, for the arm of the Roman law was long. Everywhere there was stability, in government and in society, for the centurions saw that it was so.

    But everywhere there was something else, too. There was oppression, for those who were not the friends of Tiberius Caesar. There was the tax gatherer to take the grain from the fields and the flax from the spindle to feed the legions or to fill the hungry treasury from which the divine Caesar gave largess to the people. There was the impressor to find recruits for the circuses. There were executioners to quiet those whom the Emperor proscibed. What was a man for but to serve Caesar?

    There was the persecution of men who dared think differently, who heard strange voices or read strange manuscripts. There was enslavement of men whose tribes came not from Rome, disdain for those who did not have the familiar visage. And most of all, there was everywhere a contempt for human life. What, to the strong, was one man more or less in a crowded world?

    Then, of a sudden, there was a light in the world, and a man from Galilee saying, “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s and unto God the things that are God’s.

    And the voice from Galilee, which would defy Caesar, offered a new Kingdom in which each man could walk upright and bow to none but his God. “Insamuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” And he sent this gospel of the Kingdom of Man into the uttermost ends of the earth.

    So the light came into the world and the men who lived in darkness were afraid, and they tried to lower a curtain so that man would still believe salvation lay with the leaders.

    But it came to pass for a while in divers places that the truth did set man free, although the men of darkness were offended and they tried to put out the light. The voice said, “Haste ye. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you, for that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goest.”

    Along the road to Damascus the light shone brightly. But afterwards Paul of Tarsus, too, was sore afraid. He feared that other Caesars, other prophets, might one day persuade men that that man was nothing save a servant unto them, that men might yield up their birthright from God for pottage and walk no more in freedom.

    Then might it come to pass that darkness would settle again over the lands and there would be a burning of books and men would think only of what they should eat and what they should wear, and would give heed only to new Caesars and to false prophets. Then might it come to pass that men would not look upwards to see even a winter’s star in the East, and, once more, there would be no light at all in the darkness.

    And so Paul, the apostle of the Son of Man, spoke to his bretheren, the Galatians, the words he would have us remember afterwards in each of the years of the Lord:

    “Stand fast therefore in liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

    The footnote to this story is that the son of the bank president who distributed this memo to all of his officers became a clerk to Justice Lewis Powell at the US Supreme Court. He is now a federal judge himself, married to my former camp counselor. He sits on the 4th US Circuit of Appeals, which will probably hear the appeal of Ken Cuccinelli’s lawsuit on ObamaCare. I think I shall mail him a copy of this with a note that he might enjoy this article that apparently meant so much to his father.

    Merry Christmas!

  34. emmajeri1010 says:

    Tonight at our Christmas Eve service, we saw good friends of ours caught in the midst of joy and sorrow: this extended family, 4 generations strong, has about 50 in it at this point. The youngest less than 2 weeks old; the oldest (her great grandpa) died somewhat unexpectedly on Tuesday of this week and the funeral will be this coming Tuesday. Although he was in his 80′s and had had some health problems, the thing that took his life was a stroke that happened two weeks ago, and complications following and it went quickly and somewhat unexpectedly in terms of how very fast. He is the first of the “great-grandparents” to die….his daughters are in their 60′s and are married to farmers in the area . So this large family of “adult children” have had all their parents all their lives. On one hand, that’s a huge blessing. On the other hand, the empty spot that is now shocking them is sheer pain. One of his 6 year old great granddaughters played her very first Christmas piece tonight: she played “Away in a Manger” playing just the melody line, and sang one verse as she played. Then another family group from the same extended family sang a beautiful piece in parts. It was so precious: filled with joy and sorrow. This is real life, sorrow brings with it some sweetness as well. Very emotional.

  35. solaratov says:

    Just wanted to wish all of you the happiest of Christmases; and all of the blessings of the season.

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