“Which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the Resurrection from the dead.”
Careful Investigation is Encouraged
There is nothing wrong with being cautious and careful when it comes to eternal matters. Indeed there is much in the world that we should be skeptical about. We should not be gullible. There is far too much superstition and ignorance in the world. We should carefully investigate and establish what the facts are. We need to have the courage to face the facts.
Faith in Facts
Christianity does not require one to make a blind leap into the dark. False religions require blind faith. Christianity is an intelligent step into the light, in response to facts. We do not promote faith in faith, but faith in facts. It is not the amount of faith you have, but in where you place your faith.
God Ordained Work
At the very dawn of history God called man to work. God ordained work before the Fall. Work is not a part of the curse. Adam was commanded to tend the garden before he fell into sin (Genesis 2:15). Labour is a God-given responsibility. Work is not a curse to be avoided, nor is it an undesirable activity only to be pursued when necessary. In the Bible we are commanded to:
“be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed…”
2 Timothy 2:15
Heathen Nations Despised Work
Before the coming of Christ, the heathen nations despised physical work and consigned it to slaves. When Christ was born, half of the population of the Roman Empire were slaves. Three-quarters of the population of Athens were slaves. When Luke visited Athens he noted that
“all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing.”
Jesus Revolutionised Labour
But Jesus revolutionised labour. By taking up the axe, the saw, the hammer and the plane, as a carpenter our Lord imbued labour with a new dignity. Christianity undercut slavery by giving dignity to work. By reforming work Christianity transformed the entire social order. In time this gave birth to the free enterprise system which brought unparalleled prosperity and progress to billions of people.
“The hand of the diligent makes one rich.”
Christmas is the season of giving. Why do we give and receive gifts at Christmas time? After all, it’s not our birthday! Why do some exchange their gifts on Christmas Eve, while others do so on Christmas Day?
A Biblical day began at sunset. God's day begins in darkness and ends in light. Today, with our electricity and clocks we calculate days from midnight to midnight. Man’s day begins in darkness and ends in darkness.
So Christmas Day, 25 December, Biblically, begins as the sun sets on Christmas Eve, 24 December. For this reason, many families, from Germanic and Nordic ancestry, celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve.
The Greatest Gift
We give gifts at Christmas time in honour of the greatest Gift ever given. For "God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son". Freely we have received, freely we must give. It is far more blessed to give than to receive.
Getting vs. Giving
Yet, we still have many people who have not grasped this most basic truth of Christmas. To many Christmas is the season for getting, not giving. Many have their hands out asking where is their Christmas box? "What do you have for me?" "Give me! Give me! Give me!"
Complete strangers seem to have no shame in demanding some gift for themselves at Christmas Day. We need to remind them whose birthday we are celebrating.