Thursday, December 17, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

Where Is Your Heart?

Where is your heart at Christmastime?
Is it safe in the hands of God's Son
Who came to earth in Bethlehem
And loves us, everyone?

He waits for each as though they were
The only one on earth...
And cares if we love Him in return
And celebrate His birth.

No heart can be complete until
We ask Him in to stay.
Come make a manger of your heart
This Holy Christmas Day!
-Margaret Peterson

"And this will be a sign for you; 
you will find the Babe wrapped in
swaddling clothes and lying
in a manger."
Luke 2:12

 Victorian Christmas Exhibit
The Lace Museum
San Francisco, California

As I was going to Bethlehem-town,
Upon the earth I cast me down
All underneath a little tree
That whispered in this wise to me:
Oh, I shall stand on Calvary
And bear what burthen saveth thee!
As up I fared to Bethlehem-town,
I met a shepherd coming down,
And thus he quoth: A wondrous sight
Hath spread before mine eyes this night, --
An angel host most fair to see,
That sung full sweetly of a tree
That shall uplift on Calvary
What burthen saveth you and me!
And as I gat to Bethlehem-town,
Lo! wise men came that bore a crown.
Is there, cried I, in Bethlehem
A King shall wear this diadem?

Good sooth, they quoth, and it is He
That shall be lifted on the tree
And freely shed on Calvary
What blood redeemeth us and thee!
Unto a Child in Bethlehem-town
The wise men came and brought the crown;
And while the infant smiling slept,
Upon their knees they fell and wept;
But, with her babe upon her knee,
Naught recked that Mother of the tree,
That should uplift on Calvary
What burthen saveth all and me.
-Eugene Field

Midnight Clear
Mark Keathley

The Joy of Giving

Somehow not only for Christmas
But all the long year through,
The joy that you give to others
Is the joy that comes back to you.
And the more you spend in blessing
The poor and lonely and sad,
The more of your heart's possessing
Returns to make you glad
Attributed to
John Greenleaf Whittier

A Gift From Me to You
Joan Walsh Anglund

A Timeless Christmas Message

In a world that seems not only to be changing,
but even to be dissolving, there are some tens of millions
of us who want Christmas to be the same...
with the same old greeting, "Merry Christmas" and no other.

We long for the abiding love among men of good will which
the season brings...
believing in this ancient miracle of Christmas with its softening,
sweetening influence to tug at our heart strings once again.

We want to hold on to the old customs and traditions because
they strengthen our family ties, bind us to our friends,
make us one with all mankind,
for whom the Child was born,
and brings us back again to the God Who gave us
His only begotten Son, that "whosoever believeth in Him
should not perish, but have everlasting life."

So we will not "spend" Christmas...
nor "observe" Christmas,
We will "keep" Christmas...keep it as it is...
in all the loveliness of its ancient traditions.

May we keep it in our hearts,
that we may be kept in its hope.

Reverend Peter Marshall Sr.
Twice elected Chaplain of 
the Senate of the United States of America

Tasha Tudor

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