If you're like me, then I'm guessing you're seeing all kinds of different fun "Christmas in July" activities such as,
Sales on clothing!
Deals at restaurants!
Christmas movies on "The Hallmark Channel"!
Discounts at theme parks!
Reduced prices at vacation hot spots!
Churches doing "Christmas in July" based activities such as collecting necessities and goodies to be dispersed among their supported missionaries, which is a fantastic idea!
Even one of my favorite television shows, "Lets Make a Deal", had a "Christmas in July" episode. All the contestants were dressed up in some kind of Christmas "garb" like elves, reindeer, Christmas presents and candy canes! YES it was totally commercialized, but it was still fun to watch!
Seeing so much about "Christmas in July" got me thinking, praying and asking the Lord what could I do to contribute to this ever-growing craze!
Well I came very close to mailing out "Christmas in July" greeting cards to family and friends! I may just do that next year! But for this year, the Lord laid upon my heart to simply share the Christmas story!
You may be asking,
"Barb, why do we need to read the Christmas story in July?"
With everyone else jumping on the "Christmas in July" bandwagon, I felt it would be a good thing amidst all the commercialized television shows and movies, sale ads and vacation vouchers, to remind us ALL of the TRUE MEANING of Christmas even if it is in July!
the Christmas story
July can be one of the most hectic months of the year for most families.
Going to camp!
Kiddos sleeping in before they're rudely awakened by that alarm clock blaring in their ear notifying them it's time for school!
Heading out on that one last family vacation!
Squeezing in as much pool time as possible before school starts up again in just a few short weeks!
So let's you and I sit back.
Clear our hearts and minds.
Grab a cup of hot cocoa. Wait, we better make that a glass of iced cold water or iced tea!
Snuggle up by the roaring fire. No, that's not right either. I meant to say, "turn the air conditioner down to about 69 degrees!"
And we'll read the Christmas story together and be reminded of the wonder and absolute awe of the birth of our Saviour!
"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you
in the city
Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, 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, good will toward men.
And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them."
Let's be like Mary and keep all these things which we just read and ponder them in our hearts!
BUT, let's also be like the shepherds and glorify and praise God for all the things which we have heard and seen!
Oh, yes! We may not have been there to witness the announcement of the birth of Jesus, however, if we have accepted Jesus as our personal Saviour, then we have definitely been eye witnesses to all He has accomplished in our lives up until this point, and just think of all that is yet to come!
Of course with every Christmas post I write, whether it's for December 25th or for "Christmas in July", the Lord lays upon my heart to include the reason why Jesus was born!
Sadly, some people never take Jesus out of the manger and see Him as a grown man hanging on the cross dying an agonizing death for my sins and for your sins.
If Jesus would not have been born, He would not have been able to die!
And if Jesus wouldn’t have died on the cross for our sins, we could never be born again! We could never have a personal relationship with Him!
Always remember that you and I are part of the Christmas story!
I already know what you're thinking!
"But, Barb, my name isn't mentioned in the Bible! So how can you include me in the Christmas story?"
And my answer to you would be,
"Easy, let me show you!"
"And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins."
Right there proves you and I ARE part of the Christmas story!
Because you and I are considered part of "his people".
Jesus came to save His people (the entire world) from their sins.
"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
See how easy that was?
I hope you enjoyed our "Christmas in July" celebration as much as I did!
Of course "Christmas in July" would not be complete without some Christmas music!
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May God Bless You,