by Marvin D. Patterson

How to Enjoy Christmas this Year!
Marvin Patterson
1 John 4:7-14


I think one of the best Christmas stories that I have heard goes as follows:

In a small Southern town there was a "Nativity Scene" that showed great skill and talent had gone into creating it. One small feature bothered me. The three wise men were wearing firemen's helmets. Totally unable to come up with a reason or explanation, I left.

At a "Quick Stop" on the edge of town, I asked the lady behind the counter about the helmets. She exploded into a rage, yelling at me,"You Yankees never do read the Bible!" I assured her that I did, but simply couldn't recall anything about firemen in the Bible. She jerked her Bible from behind the counter and ruffled through
some pages, and finally jabbed her finger at a passage.

Sticking it in my face she said, "See, it says right here, 'The three wise man came from afar.'"

Christmas is a special time of the year! We have Christmas trees with beautiful lights and ornaments on them. We have gifts and parties to attend. We have family gatherings to enjoy the presence of families and friends. We also sing special songs at this time of the year. One of those songs that we sing did not make a lot of sense until I did some investigation into the meaning of the song. Let me share with you the following information.

There was a period of time in England when Christians were not able to practice their faith openly so they had to find other ways to pass on their beliefs. The song The Twelve Days of Christmas is one example of how they did it. The song goes:

* "On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me..." The "true love" represents God and "me" represents those who are Christians and have received God's gifts.
* "Partridge in a pear tree" represented Jesus Christ who died on a tree as a gift from God.
* "Two turtle doves" were the Old and New Testaments, another gift from God.
* "Three French hens" represented ...

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