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Reaching Others at Christmas

Discussion in 'Churches and Ministries' started by sdcougar, Nov 24, 2011.

  1. sdcougar

    sdcougar Member

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    Just one idea:

    I wrote a book about the Christmas truce as a way of sharing the Gospel with others at this opportune Season. Here is one review of it:

    Oh Holy Night is an excellent gift...If they are a believer, they will appreciate further the gospel message underlying what took place. If, however, they are not a believer, you will be handing them a 96 page gospel tract! I recommend this book to anyone and not just at Christmas time. The story of the Christmas Eve truce of 1914 is timeless as is the message underlying the events.
    http://christianbooknotes.com/2010/oh-holy-night-the-peace-of-1914-by-mike-snow/

    The book seems especially to touch those of my folks' age, those of the quickly passing WWII generation.

    For any ministries that would want to use it for outreach, it is available at the cost of priinting-- two dollars. Contact me through my website.
    http://sdcougar.startlogic.com/blog/?p=155
     
    #1
  2. sdcougar

    sdcougar Member

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    An excerpt from the Introduction:

    ...And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of
    the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
    “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good
    will toward men.”
    The Gospel of St. Luke

    It was still freezing hard on Christmas Eve …
    [under] bright moonlight …
    After a timeless dream I saw what looked like
    a large white light on top of a pale … It was a
    strange sort of light … What sort of lantern was
    it? I did not think much about it; it was part of
    the strange unreality of the silent night, of the silence
    of the moon, now turning a brownish yellow,
    of the silence of the frost mist …

    … from the German parapet, a rich baritone
    voice begun to sing a song I remembered from
    my nurse Minne singing it to me after my evening
    tub before bed. She had been maid to my
    German grandmother …… Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht! Tranquil Night!
    Holy Night! The grave and tender voice rose out
    of the frozen mist, it was all so strange....

    The wonder remained in the low golden light of a
    white-rimmed Christmas morning. I could hardly
    realise it; but my chronic, hopeless longing to
    be home was gone.--Private Henry Williamson,
    London Rifle Brigade

    This wonder burst forth on Christmas Eve, 1914, for
    a lad who had just turned nineteen. Here, the fields
    in France had been transformed into No Man's Land.
    But in that moment, this was now all men's land.

    Private Frederick Heath, somewhere else along those
    400 and some miles of the Western Front, also described
    it:
    The night closed in early – the ghostly shadows
    that haunt the trenches came to keep us company
    as we stood to arms....


    With overcoat thick with wet mud, hands
    cracked and sore with the frost, I leaned against
    the side of the trench …

    With ears strained, I listened, and
    then, all down our line of trenches there came to
    our ears a greeting unique in war: “English soldier,
    English
    soldier, a merry Christmas, a merry
    Christmas!”

    The night wore on to dawn –
    a night made easier by songs from the German
    trenches, the pipings of piccolos and from our
    broad lines laughter and Christmas carols. Not a
    shot was fired …

    The truce of God had been called, and the rest
    of Christmas Day was filled with peace and goodwill.”
     
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  3. sdcougar

    sdcougar Member

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    And the concluding page:

    Here rests the root of the peace of Christmas, peace
    with God who has had mercy on us, who has done for
    us what we could never do for ourselves.
    This is the peace of which the shepherds heard.
    “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace,
    goodwill toward men.”
    “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace
    with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
    This peace offer still stands today. In the final invitation
    of the New Testament, it is offered to all:
    I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these
    things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring
    of David, and the bright and morning star.
    And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him
    that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst
    come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of
    life freely.
    … Everyone who hears this should say, “Come!” If
    you are thirsty, come! If you want life-giving water,
    come and take it. It's free!
    … Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes,
    let him take the free gift of the water of life.
     
    #3
  4. kweli tu

    kweli tu Member

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    Thanks for sharing what you did about the book. We're a fair bit far from Christmas at the moment - a lot closer to Easter in fact - but nonetheless, I do like the idea of using the appeal of holidays to further the gospel message.

    With Christmas, for example, I am particularly moved by the emphasis (at that time) on sharing, giving, and being with friends and loved ones. I think Jesus' admonition in Luke 14 about inviting the poor, lame, and blind to eat with us is a good one for holiday festivity perspective; but all the same, I feel there is a lot more all around goodness 'in the air' around Christmas time, and I feel the holiday emphasis has a lot to do with it. The question is, what can we do to cultivate that same mentality when it's not Christmas time?
     
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