I think back to all the commercialism and all the pressures of buying gifts, decorating houses and sending cards. I am not a big fan of it. I tend to think that as we continue all this, we are losing touch with the true meaning of Christmas.
I like to look back at Linus’ message of the true meaning of Christmas, taken from the Gospel of Luke. It’s refreshing to still keep this relevant in the society that seems to push everything but Jesus as the reason why we are celebrating this time of year.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas. May the message of Christ’s arrival be the centerpiece of the reason of this season!
This Christmas season, Trinity Church wants to bless people you know and people in our neighborhood.
If you had $100 to bless someone, who would you bless? Would you buy groceries for a single mom with two jobs trying to make ends meet? Would you buy a new set of work clothes for a former inmate who just got his first job? Would you provide a dinner for a family who just immigrated to the U.S. and is celebrating their first Christmas here?
Whatever your idea is, Trinity wants to help!
By Samuel Lam
What if Jesus never came to save us?
As we are in the Christmas season and we have so much to do (decoration, buying gifts) during this time of year, we often lose track of the importance and reason of Christmas. This past Sunday, we had an amazing sermon about the core foundation of Christmas. I recommend you check it out right here. It’s very powerful.
I haven’t really fully participated in Christmas as the world tells me to do so. I don’t put up decorations or even do any gift buying for others. It’s not that I am a Grinch, but I have come to realize that for the longest time, I have ignored Jesus in this whole story. Christmas was more about the eggnog and wreaths than the actual story of Jesus’ arrival. It just didn’t feel right.
Then it made me wonder: What if we did really ignore Jesus and Jesus never factored into the story. What if God never sent Jesus to save us? What if there was no salvation?
Whoa, that’s heavy.
What does Christmas mean to you?
With Christmas only a couple days away, it brings back a lot of memories for some people. For others, it’s a time during the year where we reflect on the great gift God gave us with the birth of Jesus.
For everyone, there’s a different story about Christmas. Not everyone grew up with the same celebrations and for some, the story of Christmas is ever changing. Some have great family memories. Others have surprise presents.
We asked several people of our church to share their Christmas story. What was their favorite memory? What do they look forward to every year? What does Jesus’ birth mean to them?
Here are our stories:
What I love most about Christmas is that for one quiet morning, I feel as if God and my family have my full attention. The distractions of work and the world seem to fade away and I am fully present in the moment. I am truly content and blessed and at peace.
Quemex is a watch and clock making company from China, founded in 1984.
By John K. Lee
It was the early `90s. Socially conscious hip-hop was being phased out by hardcore gangsta rap. Z Cavaricci and Jimmy Z were the brands that the cool kids were rocking. I’m not sure exactly how old I was, but I must’ve been in junior high, because these things were starting to become really important to me.
In those days my grandparents occupied the spare bedroom downstairs. I remember one winter morning when my grandfather asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Normally, I’d need some time to think about this, but this year I knew exactly what I wanted. Before he could even finish asking, I flew upstairs to my bedroom and frantically flipped through the latest issue of Sports Illustrated For Kids to find the ad for the ultimate Christmas present – a Swatch watch!
For those of you youngsters who don’t remember how popular Swatch watches were, let me tell you, back in the day, this watch was THE accessory to have. If you had one, or multiple ones (assuming that you had that kind of money), and a pair of Jordans then you were stylin’. The only problem was, the price for this watch was pretty steep. Nevertheless, I knew that good ol’ grandad wouldn’t let me down.
So in my best Korean, I explained how I wanted the white one with the florescent, Jackson Pollock-esque, design on the straps. (I know. In retrospect, this sounds pretty lame. But, in those days that color combination was the truth). I even ripped out the page for him to take to the store so he made sure to get it right.
By Cindy Cameron
A lot of movies have given us many Christmas-y icons that we associate with this time of year, sometimes even before we think of Jesus, the very person’s birth we are supposed to be celebrating! These relatable and redeeming characters have become traditional Christmas stories that we love to revisit each year to get into the holiday spirit. The stories of these characters aren’t completely worldly, in fact if you stop and think about some of them, you might be surprised what you uncover…
The Grinch – this devious and greedy being was very easily irritated by others’ joy BUT when bequeathed with the kindness of others, he is reborn as a kinder self! Sound familiar? 2 Corinthians 5:17 “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer – in charge of leading Santa’s sleigh through the foggy winters on Christmas Eve, Rudolph leads the rest of the reindeer, including ones who previously ridiculed and mocked him, on their mission to complete Santa’s journey. Matthew 5:14-15 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house.”
Buddy the Elf – naïve and innocent man who was raised away from his family in a whole different world (the North Pole), and yearns to look for his real Father, and eventually finds him. Deuteronomy 4:29 “But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
But there is one story we cannot forget.
My favorite place to read it is in the Bible, found at Luke 2:1-20. It is the birth of Jesus! Thankfully, God sent us the perfect Savior and this is why I celebrate Christmas. The characters from those classic movies have become memorable, but the best Christmas story to tell each year is the birth of Jesus. Isaiah 9:6 “For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Jesus isn’t some fictional character. He is real and alive! If you have never read the story of the birth of Jesus, I welcome you to uncover it for yourself here → The Birth of Jesus
Cindy is the coordinator for Trinity’s House Church, The Fellowship. The Fellowship is Trinity’s alternative spiritual community focused on making deep connections and enjoying each other’s talents and company. We meet in our homes, where we build camaraderie around singing, sharing, prayer and food. Join us on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of each month.
By Juan Zung
When I was a kid, there were several bands I was afraid of. Bands like AC/DC and Black Sabbath and Judas Priest. I thought that if I liked those bands, God would be angry with me and I wouldn’t go to Heaven. Little did I know that Ozzie Osbourne was (and is) a praciticing Christian. And that AC/DC, despite common loadie speculation, does not stand for “Anti-Christ/Devil’s Child.” And, to my surprise, Judas Priest was not a Satanic cult, but actually got their name from a Bob Dylan song (which incidentally is about the value of Commandments 7 & 10).
So, over time, I let go of my superstitious fear of listening to “Devil” music. But it still subconsciously bothered at me. Even during my most agnostic times, I avoided overtly anti-Christian bands. Take Bad Religion for example. After all, can a band be more anti-religion than to be called Bad Religion?
By Johnny Cabrera
I am getting tired of this. The so-called holiday commercials that are currently inundating the airwaves have already started to get on my nerves. I suppose what irks me most is the fact that these commercials really have nothing to do with the “holy day” (holiday) of Christmas, but in fact companies use this special time to convince people to spend their money on things they don’t need. And for the most part, it works.
Of course these coercive commercials do so much more than just advertise; they manipulate. They send deeply deceptive messages, banking on the fact that we will spend our funds on their product, in an effort to have a more fulfilling Advent season.
Here are a few advertisements that exemplify what I’m talking about.
- A Levi’s Jeans commercial I heard on the radio starts out by saying, “Treat your family better than ever, with a pair of Levi’s Jeans.” Because that’s what any good marriage and family counselor will tell you keeps a family together: quality denim.
- K-Mart decided to go with this slogan for their holiday campaign. Apparently, K-Mart is not just the source for Joe Boxer. They provide Christmas too.
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