Christmas is often called the “Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” This may be because when the Virgin Mary gave birth to the Savior, the world looked for many things to be made right through a strong leader. Most believed that the Messiah would bring peace and a new world order. He would come in glory to accomplish this task.
How disappointing for those who refused the humble birth. How could it possibly be? Yet, God’s ways are mostly not our ways. He chooses to accomplish His purposes even if they do not fit what we expect.
We often hear the question, “What would Jesus do?” As we look to Him for our daily answers to human problems, we are looking for a man’s point of view…even a Holy, Incarnate Man as He was. My question in this blog post is different. What would the Mother of the Son of God do?
This woman, who was young, was told by an angel a shocking message for her and her fiance, Joseph.
“In the sixth month, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, ‘Greetings, you who are highly favored!”
The Gospel of Luke says that the angel Gabriel came to Mary to tell her that she would give birth to a son. The angel told Mary that she should call her son Jesus. The angel also said that Jesus would save people from their sins. Mary asked the angel how she could be pregnant since she was a virgin.
After the birth, the angel appeared again:
An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.
Mary, like any Mother, watched her Son, Jesus grow and learn. She was there when he performed miracles and saw him be betrayed and given into the hands of those who would crucify him. Her sorrows were practically more than she could endure.
The Ressurection and the Ascending into heaven by her Son followed as part of her life. Throughout it all, this woman knew that God was in control.
So…back to the question...If Mary had to face some of the family sorrows that we face today, what would she do? We think of this perfect Mother, highly venerated, who would do no wrong. Yet, she was as human as any of us. Would she advise us to look at the Holy Scriptures when the father waited and waited for his son who had left home? Would she say to never give up hope? Would she point to this father (and perhaps a waiting mother) who finally saw his prodigal son coming from afar who had seen the error of his ways?
Would she have forgiven when children neglected their older parents and simply be grateful for those who are loving and caring, like her Son who asked a disciple to care for her as he died on the cross? Does this mean that a person not a member of the immediate family might be more caring and loving than the blood relation?
When Jesus saw his mother, and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. (John 19:26-27)
All these are hard questions, but as a Mother, she would understand things from a woman’s (and Mother’s) point of view.
Even the first miracle that Christ performed had to do with a problem of a social nature. At the wedding in Cana, Mary was concerned about the fact that the hosts had run out of wine. Jesus felt that His time to reveal His power or that He was the Messiah had not come, but He listened to His Mother’s request for help. He turned the water into wine, which the guests realized to be the best wine. Mary knew Jesus’ power to step into the lives of others in small or great issues. He also wants the best for us regardless of the circumstances.
You may also have some questions for Mary if you could speak to the Mother of the Savior and if she could hear you from heaven. I certainly do. Here is what Mary would do and say… “Take it to Jesus for it is in Him that God with the Holy Spirit answers prayers. He is the beloved Son of God.”
Life is complicated for so many of us. We pray that at this time when we see the beautiful pictures or works of art representing the Mother and Child that we will remember that her faith was strong and unwavering. Her pain was real and so was her joy as she trusted in God to work through the events that seemed beyond help.
Happy New Year from Boyer Writes.
VIDEO: Turn up sound
Christmas Eve was silent as a baby was born in the manger. He was wrapped carefully by his mother, Mary, in faraway Bethlehem. Here in the United States and around the world, many families go to church on Christmas Eve to sing “Silent Night” and to remember this special event.
Afterward, parents tucked their children safely in bed…hoping they would go to sleep… as they wait for a special visit from Santa Claus. The stockings are hung and the presents are hidden under the tree.
Santa must be very tired when all is said and done. Guiding his sleigh around the world on Christmas Eve was no easy job. What every Santa needs on Christmas is to find some peace and rest. Here on earth, the presents he brought have been unwrapped. The aromas from the stoves cooking Christmas dinner drift around the houses of the neighborhoods. We know the elves have closed up shop, but it leads us to wonder about something else.
“When Santa finished driving his sleigh to the homes of all the good little boys and girls around the world, what did he do with the reindeer?
On Christmas Day, Santa let his reindeer have some fun. He took them to the races!
What races? The reindeer races in Lapland and Finland, of course. Want to see?
MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OUR READERS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!
There are some times of the year that are fascinating not only to the young at heart, small children, but to our furry friends.
This Christmas music is dedicated to them…with all our love!
Slide presentation: A special dedication to our military and their dogs
For your listening pleasure!
Turn up sound (Favorite Christmas music with the Hallelujah Chorus)
President George HW Bush called for a “kinder nation” and from time to time we will see evidence that there are many kind people in the world. The shame is that most stories we see on TV or on the internet are of the violent and outrageous.
I began looking for some actual videos of kindness…or pictures to prove that it does not matter to what nationality or race one belongs…KINDNESS is kindness…and it crosses all boundaries.
I read about a woman on an airline who had a crying 2-year-old and a 5-year-old. A woman offered to help and hold a child throughout the flight. The mother was so grateful.
I understand this well in that I had three children on an airline from California to Florida. My daughter, who was a baby, cried off and on the entire trip. My sons tried to ignore it and curled up on the floor to sleep. That, in itself, was a no-no. I’m certain the other passengers were beside themselves with hostile thoughts, but no one wanted to reach out to help and make things better. We all lived through it…but barely. One does not realize that it is sometimes impossible to silence a tired, upset child who is used to his/her routine, safely back at home in the bed.
Another act of kindness was a young 13-year-old who went outside in the rain with an umbrella to help an elderly gentleman get home. There is definitely hope for the next generation. This young man made his mother proud…and he should be also.
I happen to be an animal lover. It is easy to love all animals. It is not so easy to love the down and out who may or may not have made their own bed and are now lying in it. Nevertheless, these are exactly the kind of people to whom Jesus Christ reached out …the beggar, the harlot, the unclean and pathetic. He calls us to do the same…not just during Christmas when we have a warm, cheerful heart… but always. We may be the only face of “Christ” that they will see…or the only hands and heart that shows God’s love.
Below is a video that calls for people of all walks of life to reach out to a fellow human being…or an animal that is in distress. Saving a life or making one just a little better is what we need today…this Christmas…and always. Bring your kindness to someone today.
Mathew 25:40 “…Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as you have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, you have done it unto Me.”
To Those Christians who Serve in our Armed Forces for a strong America, we honor you this Christmas season as we remember the birth of the Savior, Jesus.
To those Jewish military who celebrate Hanukkah, thank you for your service. ( Hanukkah is the Jewish festival, lasting eight days from the 25th day of Kislev (in December) and commemorating the re-dedication of the Temple in 165 BC by the Maccabees after its desecration by the Syrians. It is marked by the successive kindling of eight lights.)
To all veterans everywhere, we honor you for your service to our country.
Video 1: The U.S.Air Force Band Holiday Flash at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum (Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center)
They are brave…bold…courageous…and sometimes just for fun to show love of country and patriotism to a very big audience. Want to try this in the New Year? Thanks to the U.S. Navy Seals (Leap Frogs) who train for everything to be ready on sea and in the air! America Strong!
Video 2 Members of the U.S. Navy Parachute Team, the Leap Frogs, jump into Neyland Stadium to kick off the Orange vs. White UT Vols Spring Scrimmage football game as part of Knoxville Navy Week, April 16, 2016
Did you see that person sitting on the street while you were shopping? Did you wonder who he is or where he came from? Should you take a chance that he needed someone and that someone might be you?
In cold climates, the heat may be off in the homes of many children and their families. Could you see that the heat is turned on ?
Can you take food to the food pantries…or serve in a soup kitchen? Reach out this Christmas. Count your blessings and be generous.
Show God’s love to the least of society’s down and out people. Maybe their decisions have put them in the place they are in…or maybe it had nothing to do with their decisions. So many have lost jobs this year. They have families to support and there may not be much hope in finding another place to work. So many reasons…so many heartaches. Those with addictions need to be shown a place where they can get help. Will you walk by or reach out to offer that information or a resource…a place to rescue a life?
You can be God’s messenger of hope…of promise of newness of life. Reach out. Be HIS hands. Open your heart to the least of these.
Footnote: After posting this blog, I received a comment from a reader in Ukraine that touched my heart. He wrote: “Recently I bought dry socks to give to a sick street man in Ukraine. He asked me for bread, so I bought him a loaf of bread too and when I returned I placed my hand upon his hooded head and prayed for him. I prayed in English and know he didn’t understand a thing, but Jesus heard my prayer and that is all that mattered.”
Video (turn on sound)
This evening our church, St. James Episcopal church in Leesburg, Florida, USA, presented the beautiful music of Christmas. The music and readings shared the Christmas story of eternal hope, brought to us first by a small baby in a manger. This was the beginning of God’s plan for man to know God. It was His purpose to bring the Father’s love and forgiveness to the world. The Christmas story is the plan for redemption for the people of the world through our crucified and risen Lord Jesus. The season of Christmas is more than a “holiday”, it is the HOPE for every man, woman, young person and child.
One of the songs the choir sang, with orchestra accompaniment, was The Candle Light Carol by John Rutter. Here is another version of that music played for your Christmas pleasure by Lyceum Philharmonic. (The American Heritage Lyceum Philharmonic is an audition-only ensemble for advanced high-school-aged musicians. Students perform masterworks of the repertory alongside sacred music… conducted by Kayson Brown.)
Pass on the light of His love and His message of hope. Blessings and Merry Christmas from Boyer Writes
Nestled in the center of Florida, USA, is a tiny town called Howey in the Hills. Yes, there are actually hills here, as the center of the state has beautiful rolling hills that visitors to the state rarely see. There is much more to Florida than theme parks.
Let me introduce you to Howey. It has one blinking light, a caring and protective police force, one small library, a doctor’s office, post office, a convenience store with gas and a market with a deli, and two beauty salons. An active Community church holds a live nativity scene each year, often with farm animals. Recently our 101 year old resident turned his work of art landscaping into the new town’s Blevins Patriot Park. Visitors often come there to salute those who have served in our country’s military.
The people are friendly and stop to chat as they walk their dogs along the lake front. Gorgeous sunrises are seen early in the morning across beautiful Little Lake Harris. The moss sways gently in the oak trees and the birds arrive each winter from the north to share the trees and lake with the resident birds…like the Sandhill Cranes that roam around the yards.
This town is in Lake County, Florida that gives good fire and rescue service. A brand-new grocery is just across the bridge and several up-scale restaurants at a conference center and a golf course is a short distance from the one stop light. Crime rate is extremely low. A modern school for special needs students is just down the road from the lake. Who would not want to live here? If it ever snowed (which it doesn’t) one could sled down our hills right into the lake. Which might not be a good idea for alligators can occasionally be seen. Boaters fish and once in a while a pontoon airplane lands and takes off.
Each year Howey in the Hills has a Christmas parade. There are activities for all ages and at night lighted boats sail along the lake shore. Small towns close to Howey send their high school bands and color guards to join the festivities along the lake. Eat your heart out if you are sitting in snow and ice. (Notice the school twirlers aren’t wearing snow suits). How many towns have Llamas dressed for Christmas in their parades? These gentle creatures come to show off every year.
Since most of our readers will not be here for this Christmas, we would like to share the spirit of Christmas from our little town with you. God’s blessings on this wonderful time of year.
We cannot forget our Santa Claus who brings up the end of the parade.
Video of Santa at Howey Christmas Parade (Turn on sound)
If he were alive today, would he change his message? Probably not for his focus was not only about the Spirit of America…love of country…but the true meaning of Christmas. He was not politically correct…afraid to offend someone because he was talking about Christmas…but straight to the point. Recorded from the Oval Office in the 1980’s, we are now celebrating Christmas in 2015. We have a need to hear this message from the past more than ever.
Blessings to all my readers. Merry Christmas!
“….trusting in God’s help, we have never lost our way…” President Ronald Reagan
It’s Christmas Eve here in the West. Little children go to bed thinking of the gift they may receive in their excitement in the morning. People stop by their church before tucking them in…to remember the perfect Gift that God sent this night. Gifts were brought by the Wisemen so long ago. It made me stop to think of another gift that I recently heard about.
This is the story about a gift to an unknown person. Parents decided to give their daughter’s heart… after she had been killed in an accident. In making this decision, neither parent had any idea what a perfect gift this would be. Someone needed this heart so desperately. Receiving a gift of such magnitude…and with such gratitude…a life was restored. A part of their 13-year-old daughter would live on. The receiver of this gift would once again be able to care and love a family who may have lost her…except that she would receive a wonderful gift from unselfish people.
Tender…loving…caring…outside of the gift that God gave of His Only Son…this one represents the best in giving. Merry Christmas.
Do not miss this touching story…and make your prayers for both families this Christmas Eve.
Many will not make it home this Christmas. The song, “I’ll be home for Christmas” brings a lump in the throat. Some of our military will stay where they are…in the desert or the mountains…watching…knowing that back home there will be those who are decorating the tree; eating the Christmas dinner; opening presents….without him/or her. It is a hardness that they endure..but it does not make it any easier.
There are troops who have come home; sick in body or sometimes in the mind. Memories are difficult. So much change since he left to serve. Some wonder the streets of towns as part of the homeless…having their service and dedication to country unnoticed. We want to say to all the troops at this Christmas...you are noticed. You are our heroes. You are missed. We pray for your safe return.
Click to hear a “Santa” who also noticed.
My son sent me a wonderful story that has several morals:
- Don’t judge people by their looks or surroundings
- Never give up…but also give others a chance
- God has someone who will help you and a purpose for your life
- Hard-luck does not always have the last word.
- Life has many twists and turns and some are surprising.
For the last week of Advent…something a little different.
Kim Jong Un, shown on left before the death of his father, has the opportunity to bring N. Korea out of misery into the light. Pictures from space show N. Korea at night almost in total darkness as compared to S. Korea and Japan. Below is a writing sent to Boyer Writes by Wanda that tells of the plight of Christians in North Korea. Many sing in silence.
“A group of Korean business leaders—all Christians—visited the United States
recently with news about the plight of believers in North Korea. “There has
been terrible persecution,” they reported, “and thousands have died for their
faith; yet many still worship despite danger and death threats. When they
gather, it’s in complete secrecy; and when they sing, it is done in silence. They
open their mouths in unison, but they allow no sound from their voices for
fear of being overheard.”
Imagine what it would be like to attend a Christmas Eve service this year and
have to simply “mouth” the words of our great carols. Imagine being unable
to hear the hand bells, the chimes, the swelling crescendos of the “Hallelujah
Chorus,” or the pensive harmonies of “What Child Is This?”
What a privilege to sing the songs of Christmas! Yet we’re so deluged by
Christmas music each year that we’re in danger of not hearing it at all….” (a portion of a writing on Music by David Jeremiah)
Even in our shopping areas and in the public places, the wonderful music of Christ and Christmas can be heard. What a freedom! We do not have to sing in darkness or in silence, so this Christmas sing out! What a contrast to those who have no voice and must sing in silence.
Hallelujah Chorus in the most unexpected place.
Having just returned from Washington, D.C with my husband who attended the Army-Navy game (He was a Navy chaplain.), we ran into some strong, motorcyclist who were there to help lay the wreaths, shown above, at Arlington Cemetery. Some may not know that these wreaths, some 5,000, are donated by Worchester Wreath Co. of Harrington, Maine. The owner, Merrill Worchester, provides the wreaths and the trucking cost from Maine to Washington each year, since 1992. Harrington is not a wealthy town, but is proud that these wreaths are given each year to honor the many fallen from all wars. Hats off to Mr. Worchester and a very Merry Christmas.
We at Boyer Writes and Boyer Gifts, also wish you, our readers, the Happiest Holidays and a very Merry Christmas. For us, it is the season for joy at the birth of our Savior. We wish you and the world personal peace and joy.
Enjoy the wonderful Christmas performance below.
If during Advent series, you became a little bored with church services and sacred music, this Boyer Writes is just for you!!!
I am going to give Kevin, the video narrator, credit for saying what I have wanted to say for a long time. There is great confusion in the world about what Christmas is all about! There is a mixture of what is supposed to be sacred and what is trying to be commercial.
As Christians, we are to be in the world, but not part of the world. There is much to enjoy about holiday traditions. Much of it is light-hearted and we cater to the fun we have with family and especially children. No matter how Christmas is celebrated around the world, it is mostly not religious unless we make a conscious effort to keep Christ in Christmas.
Kevin , the young man you will meet, was in Japan at Christmas. He missed Christmas ( or Hanukkah) at home in New York with his family. Through his video camera, we are given an excellent worldly view of what Christmas is like in Japan (and I am sure other places). I think you will agree that in this case Christmas has run amok!!
(Wait until you have time to view this video. Get a cup of egg nog, a Christmas cookie, or a pot of coffee for it is a long one…but worth watching. When you are finished, I think you will run for Handel’s Messiah. Thanks, Kevin. Hope this year’s Christmas was better. )
Click to view and then click again on U-tube
The first Canadian Christmas Carol was the Huron Carol written in the 1643 by Jean du Brefeuf.
Notice the words early Native Canadians would understand
The Huron Carol
Twas in the moon of wintertime
When all the birds had fled,
That mighty Gitchi Manitou
Sent angel choirs instead;
Before their light the stars grew dim,
And wond’ring hunters heard the hymn:
Jesus, your King is born,
Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria.
O, harken to the angels’ word,
Do not decline
To heed the message which you heard:
The Child Divine,
As they proclaim, has come this morn
Of Mary pure. Let us adore.
Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria.
Within a lodge of broken bark
The tender Babe was found,
A ragged robe of rabbit skin
Enwrapp’d His beauty ’round;
But as the hunter braves drew nigh,
The angel song rang loud and high:
Jesus, your King is born,
Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria.
The earliest moon of wintertime
Is not so round and fair
As was the ring of glory on
The helpless infant there.
The chiefs from far before Him knelt
With gifts of fox and beaver pelt.
Jesus, your King is born,
Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria.
O children of the forest free,
O sons of Manitou,
The Holy Child of earth and heav’n
Is born today for you.
Come kneel before the radiant boy;
Who brings you beauty, peace and joy.
Jesus, your King is born,
Jesus is born,
In excelsis gloria.
There is no getting around it. Go to any department store before Halloween and one will see the Christmas decorations going up! My reaction is one of disgust…down right regurgitation. We begin to hear murmurs about the commercialism of Christmas…and they are right. However, sometimes if you can’t beat them, join them.
What does this have to do with the composer, George Frederic Handel? He would have never believed what took place in 2010, hundreds of years after his death!
Come with me to Macy’s Department store the night before Halloween. The Opera Company of Philadelphia brought together over 650 choristers from 28 participating organizations to perform one of the Knight Foundation’s “Random Acts of Culture” performances.
In the video below, you will see the Wanamaker Grand Court Organ.
This organ is the largest working organ in the world: 6 keyboards, and over 28,000 pipes! Turn up your sound and enjoy The Hallelujah Chorus, in a setting that you would probably not expect.
Jesus went out into the crowds with His message. Those who wrote music to His honor , as Handel, performed it to the people. Perhaps honoring Him in a department store, near Halloween is not so far-fetched after all. CLICK BELOW