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The meaning of Christmas

Aside from the glittering décor, the parties, the food and the gifts –both given and received –on Dec.25, there is a much more important reason we celebrate the Christmas season.

Christmas is a holiday celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, according to Webster’s New World Dictionary.

The meaning is made clear in the second chapter of Matthew, the gospel writer. He tells the story as follows:

“And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. So all went to be registered, everyone in his own city.

“Joseph also went up, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.

“So it was.that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered.And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling cloths. And laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

“Now there were in the same country shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night.And behold an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.

“Then the angel said to them,Do not be afraid. I bring you good tidings of great joy, which will be to all people.

“For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.And this will be the sign to you. You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.

“And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying: ‘Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men.’”A celebration of the miraculous event was featured at First Baptist Church in Hartselle Dec. 15.

A filled sanctuary of worshipers listened in awe as more than 100 singers lifted their voices in praise and adoration of the Christ Child’s birth. The 75-minute program, Carols by Candlelight was directed by Dr. Bob Hatfield and included the Hartselle High School Performers and Chorale. Best wishes to you and your family for a blessed Christmas.

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