COULD THIS BE XMAS?
It’s that time again when Christians around the world attempt to persuade their neighbours not to keep Christ out of Christmas, that His coming is the reason for the season, even though most Christians are, themselves, unaware of the real reson for the season.
The name of the feast should give it away:
Yes its origins lie within Roman Catholic Dogma. The Mass of Christ!
The Roman Catholic Church, in particular via the preaching of John Crysostom, adopted the 25th December as the date to celebrate the birth of Christ. This date coincided with the Roman Feast of
Dies Natalis Solis Invicti (the birthday of the unconquered sun) originally founded by Emporer Aurelian in 274 A.D.
During the Mass the Catholic priest performs the ritual of the Eucharist which, according to the Dogma of the Roman Church, brings the Real presence of Jesus onto the altar. Thus the wafer (or to give it its proper name the “Host”) has its substance changed from mere bread into the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ.
On the day of Christ’s Mass three masses are held the first at Midnight, the second at dawn and the third held at some point during the day.
As believers that reject the notion of the transubstanciation of the Host to enable people to eat Christ’s actual flesh (we find this idea to be repugnant), we cannot celebrate any feast that owes its origins to such blasphemy.
Let us be reminded of something God declared to His people Israel:
I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept [them]: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.
Town and City Centres across the world are festooned with twinkling lights. Store windows are decorated. Tall Conifers are placed infront of local government buildings and people hurry themselves buying and selling in preparation for the Catholic Feast of Christ’s Mass.
Children, from tender age, are taught to expect a visit from Santa who, they are made to believe , will bring them gifts (on condition that they are “Good boys and girls”).
Shopping Malls blare out with the usual selection of seasonal music; Harking Herald Angels Singing, Misteltoe and Wine, Mary’s Boy Child, I Wish it could be Christ’s Mass Every Day. The Salvation Army Brass band comes out onto the streets in order to collect money, as do the Rotarians as well as other Charitable Organisations.
Schools and Church Sunday schools rehearse their annual Nativity Plays, Parties are organised and large amounts of food and drink are bought in.
Now what has all this have to do with the above scriptures from the Book of the Prophet Amos? Well, let us consider what God witnesses every year during the feast of Christ’s Mass.
This feast is generally a time of overindulging in every possible way; over eating, drunkenness, fornication and adultery! For many “Christians” it is a time to extend charity–yet isn’t Charity to be extended every day not simply once a year?
And, with this in mind it is believed that God loves this annual feastivity!
God spoke to His people of his hatred of their Feasts:-
Passover, Succot, Shavuot, the New Moons etc. Why would God hate the very feasts that He had decreed that they should keep? Why was God sick and tired of their sacred music, their hymns, their celebrations?
Simple, they had lost sight of the one to whom these things were meant to honour. The Lord said something very important to the samaritan woman He met at Jacob’s Well,
Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
He spoke of TRUE Worship, that which is in spirit AND in truth. Apostle paul spoke of such worship in this way:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, [which is] your reasonable service.
This “Reasonable Service” can also be rendered “Logical Worship” or even “Spiritual Worship”. It is reasonable to God when our whole life is offered as worship, in obedience to the teachings of Christ and the Apostles as contained in the New Testament Scriptures!
Rather than offer vain worship that consists in merely singing and self edifying “church services”, we should be doing that which our Heavenly Father asks of us!
He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
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