RE: A Christmas Message

From: Tjalle T Vandergraaf <>
Date: Sun Dec 25 2005 - 20:30:08 EST

Amen! And a "bleak midwinter" it is for the four members of the Christian
Peacemaker Team that are being held hostage in Iraq and for their families.
We pray that the Holy Spirit will work in the hearts of the hostage takers
to release these volunteers and will strengthen their family members in
these difficult times.


Merry Christmas and Shalom to all. Thanks for that link, Mervin.


Chuck Vandergraaf





From: [] On
Behalf Of Mervin Bitikofer
Sent: Saturday, December 24, 2005 9:45 PM
Subject: Re: A Christmas Message


"In the bleak midwinter" -- I LOVE that song and its haunting melody!
Click here to hear it and
read more of the verses.

Merry Christmas, All!


George Murphy wrote:

I'd forgotten that. For another hymn verse in a similar vein, here's
Christina Georgina Rossetti (in the old Lutheran Service Book and Hymnal
#36 - the version in the Episcopal hymnal is a bit different.)


            Heaven cannot hold him,

            Nor earth sustain;

            Heaven and earth shall flee away

            When he comes to reign;

            In the bleak midwinter

            A stable place sufficed

            The Lord God Almighty

            Jesus Christ.


George <>

----- Original Message -----

From: George Murphy <>

To: Michael Roberts <> ;

Sent: Saturday, December 24, 2005 4:19 PM

Subject: Re: A Christmas Message


In line with Michael's message, this verse from one of Luther's Christmas
hymns (Vol.53 of Luther's Works, p.291):


            Ah Lord, the maker of us all!

            How hast thou grown so poor and small,

            That there thou liest on withered grass,

            The supper of the ox and ass?


George <>

----- Original Message -----

From: Michael Roberts <>


Sent: Saturday, December 24, 2005 3:53 PM

Subject: A Christmas Message


Something I wrote for our church


Something small for Christmas

The best things always come in small packages. We often think biggest is
best, but the two best things there are both began as something totally
miniscule. Both are well known, but one more known than the other, both are
almost totally incredible and I cannot decide which is the more incredible.
Yet many an atheist will regard one as totally and utterly true and the
other as a stupid fairy tale. I, as a Christian, totally accept the one and
regard the other as almost absolutely certain. Yes, I am talking in riddles
but then Jesus and many of the Old Testament prophets sometimes did as well!


So what are these two miniscule items?


The smaller of the two minute things is the universe at the point of its
formation some 13,000,000 years in the event commonly called the Big Bang.
As astrophysicists and cosmologists have sought to work out the history of
the universe and going back as far as they can, they found that at the
beginning the whole mass of the universe was concentrated in a speck of
infinitesimally small size. They don't argue about this but are not sure
exactly when and estimates of the time it occurred is between 10 and 15
billion years ago and the favoured time today is about 13 billion. >From
that point, marking the beginning of time and space, the point expanded and
cooled and after three minutes had cooled to a thousand million degrees.
Much later stars and galaxies were formed and thus we end up with the vast
universe we know today (or rather hardly know). The whole picture is
mind-boggling and almost unbelievable but that is what scientists have
uncovered. There is no reason to reject this and it has been well-described
by Bill Bryson in A short history of nearly everything. However, it has to
be said some atheists try to present this as proof that God doesn't exist,
which is nonsense. The Bible is simply not bothered about the scientific
details but in many places puts the fact of God as creator in wonderful
poetic ways as in the first chapter of Genesis.


The larger of the two things is the baby Jesus, whose official birthday we
celebrate this month. There is something equally mind-boggling, God the
creator of everything - and the originator of the Big Bang - "shrunk" to
become a little human baby to sort out the follies of the human race. Too
often at Christmas we only think of the birth and its trappings (most later
fabrications) and make it a children's story in the worst sense. The heart
of the Christmas message is summed up by John at the beginning of his
gospel, "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us" i.e. God a.k.a. the
Word, had become a human baby. Luke (chap 2 vs 12) gave the reason, "for to
you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the
Lord". Note he did not say to be moral teacher and a jolly one at that, but
a Saviour, which is far more and something we can only grasp through Jesus'
death and resurrection.


Just two little things to remember this Christmas and far more mind-blowing
than anything else.


Received on Sun Dec 25 20:36:00 2005

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