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The hope o f the wise men that rose like the Day-star To lighten the centuries’ midnight of wrong, And the love of the Child in the manger low-lying, So tender and patient, so sweet and so strong. * Hence I shall not wish you the old “Merry Christmas,” Since that is o f shadowless childhood a part, But one that is holy and happy and peace ful, The spirit of Christmas deep down in your heart. — A n n i e J o h n s o n F l in t . DECEMBER 25,1932 CHRISTMAS IN PICTURE, SONG, AND STORY L u k e 2:8-20 Suggestions for the Meeting Hymn—“While the Shepherds Watched.” Hymn—“O Come, All Ye Faithful.” Hymn—“Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.” Scripture Lesson from Memory. Prayer. Quartet—“O Little Town of Bethle hem.” Solo—“Birthplace of a King.” Five-minute Talks by Previously Ap pointed Speakers: If you were an artist, and were asked to put into a single scene the truth of the .coming of the Saviour to the world, what would you put into your picture, and what would you make cen tral ? What is your favorite Christmas song ? Why ? What makes the Christmas story new and interesting year after year? Testimonies and opinions from the mem bers. Hymn—“Once in Royal David’s City.” Benediction. Meditation on the Lesson Luke 2 :8 to 20 is the sweetest story that can be told to children, and is the beginning o f the great story o f salvation, which is the sweetest story ever told to mortal man. “A Saviour, which is Christ the Lord” is born. Could sweeter music fall on human ears ? For centuries, men lived in anticipation of this great event, the coming of their Re deemer, for “to him gave all the prophets witness.” The angels’ message was one of jo y , permanent joy: 1. Joy of deliverance from fear—-“ fear not.” Anticipation was now realiza tion. 2. Joy of assurance because o f the source—from heaven by means of “the angel.” “ I bring you tidings o f great joy.” 3. Joy because of its extent—“which shall be to all people.” 4. Joy because it is individual and per sonal—“unto you is born . . . a Sav iour.” Let us, as the shepherds did, glorify and praise God for all these things. Illustration T h e W r it in g o f a F a m o u s C a r o l When Phillips Brooks, the beloved and great preacher, was a boy, his parents had him and his brother learn hymns. They used to enjoy reciting them on Sunday evenings; and when Phillips went to col-
give us the abundant life. It was fitting that His birthplace should be the City of David, the shepherd lad, a type of Jesus who was our Good Shepherd in His death; who is our Great Shepherd on the throne; who will be our Chief Shepherd when He comes again.— T h e I l l u s t r a t o r . III. T h a n k i n g G od f o r t h e F ir s t C h r is t m a s There was tremendous meaning in the words of the angels to the shepherds: “ This day is born unto you in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ the Lord.” Only one day in the world’s history can bear any comparison with the first Christ mas day, and that is the day of the Lord’s resurrection. And yet, on reflection, one is sure to feel that the day of the Lord’s in carnation has the advantage. His resurrec tion was a thing to be expected, for “he could not be holden” of the grave. But it will remain a matter of eternal astonish ment that God ever came down in the per son of His Son to inhabit a human body, that He might bear our griefs and carry our sorrows and suffer for our sins on the tree and save our souls from sin and death. As some one has well said, you can lay your hand on that manger where the baby Christ was cradled and say, “Here is the be ginning o f all history.” W a t c h m a n - E x a m in e r . IV. A C h r is t m a s P r a y e r For the glory of another Christmas Day, we give thanks to Thee, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in that Thou didst so love the world as to give for its salvation Thine only begotten Son. Amen. V. L ove i n t h e G if t Let us pause for a moment and ask our selves why We celebrate Christmas. Think you we should try To outdo our rich friends in value of gifts, Remembering the poor ones with hasty makeshifts ? The spirit of Christmas, what is it but love That came down to earth from the Father above, And peace on the earth, and goodwill to men; Love, peace, and goodwill, and love once again ? Our gifts should show love and be given to bless; The poor need the generous gift not the less, And the rich need true love more than gifts we can buy, Possessing great wealth, for love oft they sigh. Then let us remember as Christmas draws near, There is no heart on earth unresponsive to cheer; Each one needs the message that blesses and lifts, So let us not fail to put love in our gifts. |||§—N e l l ie S w e e t s . VI. T h e S p ir it o f C h r is t m a s Threefold is the Spirit, thus blending to gether The faith of the shepherds who came to the King, And knowing naught else but the angels’ glad message, Had only their faith to His cradle to bring;
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