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December 22, 2019 8:00 am
Hi everyone, I'm David Chadwick in the top 11 to 99. Three WBT welcome to the program.
In case you don't know this is a faith and values program that tries to intersect faith and values with different things going on in the culture throughout the world. How appropriate today to simply say to all of you.
This is a show today that's going to focus on the true meaning of Christmas. It's often time overlooked and not understood properly in the commercialization of these past weeks, we have lost.
I think the true meaning of Christmas. So today I'll look at Christmas from a Christian standpoint, for I am a Christian and really Christmas doesn't make sense unless you understand the Christian theology behind it. In fact, Chris Maas comes from the Catholic understanding of the mass and then of course Christ is the worship of the mass of Jesus Christ the Lord of the universe, so we want to grab hold of that meaning today as we focus on Christmas and its powerful impact upon our lives. No other time of year is like this time of year and let's celebrated rightly. I have my producer and friend, Ed Billick open up his Mike right now to join us on this understanding of this very special time of year. Ed, thanks for being with me while Merry Christmas to David Merry Christmas Merry Christmas and Merry Christmas that that's caused such consternation in our culture to state.
Merry Christmas, but for people of faith that really is what you're asking for is a joyous happy Mary time of worshiping Jesus Christmas Christ mass are your Catholic the mass is the worship time for the Christ child and the grown up Jesus. So when you say Merry Christmas. You're simply saying happy. Mary joyous worship of the Christ child.
The true reason for the season and happy holidays, which I think that covers all faiths. Yes no go. So yeah does and I would actually say that. Happy holiday should not be an offensive greeting to people during this time of year because what holidays means is in its root etymological word source means holy days.
Holy means set apart days mean, of course, the 24 hour days that we go through so when you say happy holidays you were wishing people to have happy happy, set apart days, days that are different than any other days during the year and Christmas is of course that kind of season. These days were different than any other days in all of the year. David the anticipation. I mean there's no other time in a calendar year like Christmas only.
So after all these centuries if you will, it still holds and continues to hold that kind of special magical spiritual time of the year. What is it Ed that grabs people's hearts so specially this year. Even people who don't have a deep faith at all in any faith, but much less a Christian faith. There's something magical about this time that all people grab hold of.
I think it may be something surrounding the words joy, peace, love, hope, those are all positive words that grab people's hearts no matter who you may be, but those are the words that basically express the meaning of Christmas.
We know that God loves us because you become one of us in Jesus.
If we really believe the gods in control of everything and that he loves us deeply. We should have joy that joy then produces an extraordinary hope that God's in control of his world. I mean if that baby came into this world of God became one of us that means he's in control there's hope. And then there's peace. The shepherds cried out with the angelic choir glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth, goodwill toward men.
All of us long for there to be peace especially in this divided nation.
We are all created in the image and likeness of God and yet deep down, regardless of who we are what we are. We have those burning desires deep within our heart, the joy, the peace, the hope and the love you and I would even argue that the reason for Christmas from a biblical Christian theological standpoint is Christian believe there is one God in three persons, father, son and Holy Spirit, a mystery, for sure, but nevertheless what Christians believe, and in our rebellion against God. God so loved this world that he did not want us to spend eternity separated from him. So at some point the father turned to the sun and said would you go and the son said yes and the father sent the son into a stable in a manger in Bethlehem God in human flesh totally God totally human and this Jesus named that way because the word means Savior God came on a rescue mission to save us from our selfishness, our alienation, our addictions, our hurts, our hangups, God became one of us an incarnation like chili con carnet is the Mexican word for chili with flesh. We believe God with flesh, God, con Carney, the incarnation and God became one of us to tell us about himself who he is, how to live, how to know, love, joy, peace and kindness. And when we know that Jesus grew up and died on the cross to forgive us of our sins we have a personal relationship with the God of this universe who continually gives us hope that's the true meaning of Christmas. That's the meaning of the incarnation God with human flesh on.
I am looking for your insights their pastor Chadwick. As we continue the show today.
Let's spend the rest of the time exploring the true meaning of Christmas.
Merry Christmas to you Ed Billick and Merry Christmas to all of you. I'm David Chadwick will be right back when I'm David Chadwick and this is news talk 11 to 99, three love the great Christmas carols little town of Bethel today.
A city that is in turmoil and strife because people are fighting over living in that area. Oh, that was never the intention of the God of this universe when he became one of us for that city to be fought over.
In fact, he came as the Prince of peace. He wants to give us peace in our hearts in peace with one another. The incarnation that is the meaning of the word for Christmas that God became human flesh incarnated God in human flesh to come show us the very nature of his love. If we try to look into the face of God. He so holy we would die in our sinfulness. So God failed his holiness in Jesus in a baby. He put on human flesh, so that all of us can look into the face of God and not only live but know his true nature of many of you asked me about my father, Howard Chadwick, a great man is going on to heaven, you would know much about him but I as his son can tell you about my father because I came from my father will. Similarly, none of us really knew the true nature of the father in heaven.
So God sent his son to tell us in our own language in our own form in our own flesh about his great and abiding love for us. That's what Jesus meant when he said in John five. If you know me you know my father, Jesus came to tell us who the father is to tell us all about his love is one my favorite incarnation stories that helps us understand the power of what God has done during this Christmas season. A little boy was at home with his mom.
It was the middle of winter time and he looked outside and he saw a bird shivering on a branch. He was so concerned that bird was going to die in the extreme cold, so he went outside and he tried to shoo that bird into the warm garage he try to take his broom out there to do it. He took other instruments to try to get that bird to come into the garage, but the bird only flew higher and fought higher, refusing to go into the garage. The little boy was forlorn. He did not know what to do. He went in and said to his mom all mom I've been outside in the cold, bitter weather and I try to shoo that bird into the garage so he can live if he stays outside and continues in that whether he'll surely die, and his mom looked at him and said all isn't it a shame that you can't become a bird and then go up to that bird and tell him how to come into the garage and live dear friends. That's what happened with us were all shivering on our branches. We have no hope whatsoever were lost in forlorn, but God so loves us that he became a bird. He became one of us and he came to us on our branch to tell us how to come into his eternal life. His warmth so that we could live forever in perfect love. That's what Christmas is all about God, became one of us the incarnation God entered into this world in a stable in a manger. God became a bird so that he could tell us in our language, our forms, our ways how to come into the father's eternal house and live forever.
That's what Jesus meant in John 14, when he said in my father's house are many places for you. If it weren't so, I wouldn't have told you so an easy he tells us how to come home and live it.
Isn't that a powerful illustration argues that with my kids for years and it's help them understand the true meaning of Christmas. The incarnation gives a good visual.
David then he's born in a manger in a stable could find a place to be born again you say – he's going to God should be born in a palace fully heated garage, so to speak with Ed Billick and I have been in control of the incarnation, forgetting that hymns born in Caesar's Palace both you and I have grandchildren and now they swaddle the babies.
I love that word describes swaddling and of course why a manger was well. I think the manger idea with cow dung's smells surrounding the baby with the only people initially being there were mom and dad and animals barnyard animals. I was because God was trying to make a statement that he is a God of humility. He is the great God of the universe who submitted himself to this world's worst conditions to explain to all of us.
This is how much I love you I think is also trying to teach us a lesson in humility that humility is the pathway to the father not in thinking were great, powerful God wants us to understand that humility is the pathway to understanding a relationship with him, swallowing clothes interestingly means a tightly bound cloth around the baby. I have a new granddaughter she's only a couple of months old and my daughter wraps her up tightly in blankets regularly to keep her warm. That's what they did during that day as well. Mary evidently had some kind of tight bound cloth that she could wrap around that baby to keep Jesus warm, and it can you imagine this, the King of the universe choosing the father said, would you go yes I'll go not thinking equality with God was something to be grasped, but he willingly submitted himself to enter into this world as a vulnerable baby in the arms of a man and a woman named Joseph and Mary, the only living things around him barnyard animals and yet the God of the universe did that to teach us. I think the valuable lesson of the importance of humility that we are nothing God's everything, even the God of this universe birthed himself in the most humble of surroundings and also it's interesting, yet I think we need to always connect the cradle with the cross after Jesus. This baby that grew up to be the perfect God man who lived a righteous life. None of us can live who took the sins of the world upon himself who took the wrath of God.
The anger of God for our sins upon himself so that we wouldn't have to when he was taken down off that cross. He was bound in grade close and interestingly the word that's used for those grave clothes is swaddling clothes. He entered the world, wrapped up in swaddling clothes in a manger, he left this world wrapped up in swaddling clothes in grade close in a borrowed tomb. He's the King of the universe who came in total humility so many different thoughts as you're describing in a barn lot of germs survived all that and then to and then to your point, who were his first visitors there Shepherd ship and they were the lower-class citizens of the day they were the lowest of the low. So isn't it fascinating that the father sent the son to be birthed in a stable as a vulnerable baby in the first witnesses who come to share this glory with Mary and Joseph are downtrodden second-class shepherds.
I think God was trying to make a statement there that the gospel of love is most often received by the most humble of people. It's not the kings who want to experience Jesus. It's the shepherds, Herod the king during that day in Jesus time wanted him dead. He then put out an edict that wanted all male boys two years or younger, to be killed. He was so threatened by this King of the Jews told by the wise men that that was the case and isn't it interesting though that God did send wise men's thereafter. These wealthy, powerful, influential men from the East who brought expensive gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh and laid them at the feet of the Christ child. So even though shepherds were the first visitors teaching us that probably it's the poor and the needy, who are most open to the gospel. The Gospels also for the rich and powerful and in you and I both know people who have means who do love Jesus as well and he needs their gifts to the kingdom to help advance God's love throughout the world. The star David, the bright shining stars that like from fairytales that but did that really exist.
I guess we really don't know. But why the Starwood Jesus Christ superstar Amini get the star. The bright light.
The lights we use for Christmas your thoughts. Well, I think the biblical text is really clear that there was a star that appeared to the wise men who lived probably 600 miles away as best we can tell where they lived at that time and we have astrological evidence that there was some kind of bright light that happened during that time that's recorded in other places in extra-biblical history.
Those wise men saw that*it guided them to the manger where they ultimately encountered the Christ child, yet apply the star. I think it was the first evidence of Jesus being the light of the world in darkness.
A star is seen most brightly. A star can be seen at during the daytime, but it's most brightly seen against the backdrop of darkness will God came into this world. This world is so dark, so hideously selfish, so prideful, so negative, so critical and against that backdrop of darkness, a star came and shown that Jesus is the light of the world God's light of truth showing us how to walk the way and move toward health and wholeness you if you want to see the exquisite glory and beauty of a diamond. The best way to do so is to place it against the backdrop of black velvet when you go in by your beloved a nice diamond you place that diamond against the backdrop of black velvet to show the glorious splendor of that diamond. Similarly, it's in the darkness of this world in a dark, dank stable in a smelly place with shepherds, being the first visitors God placed a bright light in the dark stratosphere to guide three wealthy Wiseman to the stable again to say that Jesus is the light of the world. He claimed that he said in the Scripture. I am the light of the world, but then what's also fascinating it is. He said to his followers. Now, if you have me living inside of you. If my love has consumed your heart if you know me intimately and personally if our lives are inextricably connected one to the other, then you are now the light of the world as Jesus enters our heart and consumes our darkness. Now, his followers are called to continue to enter into this dark world.
It's filled with war and violence, trafficking, and evil. We are called to be the light of the world were called to be Jesus very presence to bring hope to the despairing to bring peace to those who are written with war to bring light to this world's darkness. That's why he came. That's the purpose of Christmas. That's the real reason for the season folks at Billick and I will be back again in a moment to explore more truths of the Christmas season 00 I want. I'm David Chadwick and this is talk 11 to 99. Three WBT Merry Christmas to you all, welcome back to love the words to that song oh holy night.
The word holy again means set apart different that night that God entered into this world when God became one of us.
When God put on human flesh to tell us who he is and to express his deep and abiding love for us is like no other night like no other time of the year is the night that Jesus was born, and the stars were brightly shining were talking before we left the last segment about how stars placed against the backdrop of darkness shine brightly that Jesus is the light of the world. He is the star who entered the darkness of this world, and now he calls us to be his light to enter the world to try to address those same human difficulties that he came to address to be his person, his light, his love, his peace, his purpose to other people. Again everyone Merry Christmas to you my producer and friend at Billick has his microphone open during this segment as well.
Were talking about the true meaning of Christmas it again, Merry Christmas to her Christmas. David no candles.
We light candles or Christmas would put lights on the house spotlights or use trees are lit up of the light theme in continues to think about how much of our world.
During this time is consumed with lights and of course those lights become brighter and more significant during the Christmas season and at night so during the Christmas season and at night we see a reminder of Jesus being the light of the world being the one who entered this darkness to give us light and to give us life so that we can enter into our dark places around us to be light and life to other people who are in need today everyone Christmas is such a beautiful time of year and remember the real reason for the season. The real reason for Christmas day itself, and just think about that scenario of the cradle of vulnerable baby wrapped in swaddling clothes with a mom and a dad sitting in adoration regarding that child and Mary contemplating you know this child came by a conception of miracles.
It was done by the power of the Holy Spirit. Now I'm asked during this time.
Especially is the virgin birth really an essential Christian doctrine and I think it is because what Christians believe is the way that our selfish natures are transmitted is by the physical act of intimacy between a man and a woman.
So if that's the way that selfishness is continued. God's got to find a way to bypass that normal conception process so the power of the Holy Spirit came upon Mary and Jesus was conceived by the power of God through the Holy Spirit. That's the way the sinful nature was bypassed of Jesus is the perfect God man. Therefore, when we connect the cradle with the cross Jesus, the perfect God man grew up from the baby to live the perfect righteous life that none of us can live died on the cross to forgive us of our sins and we now have him living inside of us. We know that only a perfect person can pay the penalty for our sins, that perfection could only be conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, we live with the knowledge of the importance of the virgin birth, and I'm sure Mary contemplated that moment when the angel Gabriel came to her and told her this child would be conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit as she held Jesus in her arms. Right after he was born.
Okay so your Joseph know and you know what is occurred mean, it had no relations with the woman.
Yet an angel Peter to him what point in time that he said is all I got it, I'm trusting God's word is we should trust God's word. So what was Joseph thinking right now Joseph and Mary were in what's called a patrol full-time. Not known in our Western society much but here's what would happen in that day, a man would be betrothed to a woman and they would enter into a one year time period were basically they were considered to be married, but they really warned they would get to know one another. They would become. Hopefully each other's best friends. During that time.
Did you know my old phrase there. You can leave your spouse but you can't leave your best friend. There was a year. Set aside for them to grow and learn with one another that time ended, though with a grand celebration of the actual marriage feast. During that betrothal time. They could not have anti-any intimate relations so Joseph when he heard Mary tell him that she was with child.
He at first chose to do a writ of divorcement he chose to divorce her, which was his right if someone did what. Apparently Mary had done but then the angel appeared to him and explained that the child was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and Joseph was to trust God that he was the one in charge of all of this and as you rightly said at that moment Joseph chose to remain married to Mary. He then moved with her to Bethlehem from Nazareth to be with her during the delivery of this child to be her husband and Joseph is a perfect example of a man who does not understand everything that God is doing, but chose to submit himself to the will of God go in for all of the men out there listening right now we should let Joseph be an example to us of a how to obey God even when we don't understand and be to be righteous men who love our wives no matter what the situation may be, when we do so were giving life to those children that come in through our intimacy with our spouses and Joseph is an example of a righteous good man, husband and father. You know, we think about all the things we want for our children who work so hard to provide for them all. The presence especially during Christmas time. And we realize, don't we. During this time that all God gave Jesus was a righteous father and a righteous mother. Isn't that what all of us need more than anything else more than the presence we need the presence of our moms and dads. Also, the presence of God in our hearts. That's the true meaning of Christmas you beautifully said no no you talk presence in gifts and gift giving and which is become so important you know of Christmas will be perfect until I get the right gift or do I give the right gift. Let's talk giftgiving and what if I don't buy the right give the candy take the gift back in exchange of bull. You have the idea of giftgiving comes first of all, in the fact during Christmas that God gave his son to us that in eternity.
The father said to the sun would you go in the sun came and came as a baby in a manger grew up perfectly paid the righteous requirement of the law and the death penalty upon himself so that we wouldn't have to have it and then we received the forgiveness of our sins through Jesus by grace through faith.
For this is a biblically gift from God.
So the first gift is the gift of eternal life that God gives us through Jesus. That's why giftgiving has become so important in Christendom through the last 2000 years. We remember the gift of Jesus himself to forgive us for our sins.
But then we have the wisemen giving those three precious gifts which then is the expression of the kind of presence that we give during the Christmas Kaiser talking giftgiving with each other than where does Santa Claus come from David word is this figure with a beer in a red outfit where does that all originate in and is what's the tie there in church history. I think it's the sixth century around there on there was a man named Nicholas who lived in a village where children were very poor. They did not have gifts during this Christmas time. So he took it upon himself to get gifts for all the children in his community and then he laid at night would go deliver those gifts to those children well. Interestingly, he later became known in Catholic tradition as St. Nicholas St. Nick. And then that legend got enlarged and embellished to become Santa Claus and then in Western world.
We have taken it to a new extreme, but it was rooted in the whole idea of St. Nicholas caring for those children and bringing gifts to them during the Christmas time. His role modeling St. Nicholas Santa Claus is role modeling yeah Santa Claus stole it from St. Mecca FFS the dream of the matter dance and Santa Claus is a wonderful character and in fact, some people say the Santa should be a saint. The Santa is the S a INT St. idea Nicolosi brings gifts to children throughout the world. So it's not a bad thing as long as you continue to remember that the Santa theme of bringing gifts only if you been good and not naughty is certainly not the Christian idea of Jesus bringing us the gift of eternal life not rooted in whether were good or bad or naughty or nice it's rooted in grace is rooted in the fact that God just loves us and he wants us to receive this gift by grace through faith and there becomes a whole forgiveness piece sets. If you naughty you can still be forgiven exactly the nature and meaning of the cradle.
It's to remind us that were all forgiven of our sins and ends that that's the greatest gift we could all have we we live this life filled with guilt and remorse to know that God has forgiven us of our sins were free from that God is buried.
Our sins deep into the heart of the sea, God's an eternal amnesiac because of that baby in the manger. If we went to God and brought up our past sins, he would say I don't know what you're talking about. I remember forgetting them. What a great message. Merry Christmas. I'm David Chadwick will be right back. I when I David Chadwick is limited 99 three. Something about that Christmas him like no other reason Yeary's sense of God's presence in the song itself and something you may not know is during World War I the Allied forces in the German forces in trench warfare were unable to advance against one another. They did not have the war mechanisms necessary to blow up the other trench to move forward. They would just stop the standoff and on Christmas Eve one part of the wars terrain. Someone started singing this song.
This him. Silent Night and suddenly somebody else started singing and another and another on both sides.
The soldiers started singing Silent Night and then they started coming out of their trenches and they move toward one another and they had presence that they started extending to one another. In fact, they lay down their rifles and took a soccer ball and started playing soccer against one another. I don't know who one who cares, but for one joyous night there was a celebration between the two camps and there was peace. They went back to their trenches. Sadly and continue the war. Soon thereafter, but again, for some.
Ours there was peace and it came because they both understood the meaning of the Silent Night the holy night.
The different kind of night when God chose to enter this world dear friends, our nation is never been more divided. We've never seen more rancor between sides might we not just during the Christmas season, but all seasons come out of our trenches and sing together and love one another, play together.
Enjoy this precious life that God has given all of us no matter what your view may be, no matter what a pill, political affiliation, you may have. Might you choose to enter into a relationship or friendship with people who are different than you are and just love why because of the Silent Night, holy night when people chose to sing together and love one another rather than hate and have war and Billick my producers joining me with an open mic in it.
There's power in singing of, there are special Christmas hymns that people just love to sing during this time of year. The old ones are just as precious today as the new ones are being created and in every generation continues to sing Christmas. There's a deep theology that is rich and all of the Christmas carols that remind us of who God is. Especially during this time of year and I hope all of you have had times to sing with your own religious faith communities. These great hymns of the faith or just put on some music in your home and son along with them Catholic mass an hour before the choir is at its best that they are dressed to the best they sound the best, I'm sure.
And in your church. David the same kind of joy is being celebrated through music. There's something about singing Ed and studies have been done that, if you'll just take 20 minutes a week and sing and especially sing with other people. It helps lift anxiety and depression. It's an amazing stat there something powerful in singing and when you look at the Christmas story you have Mary after the announcement that the Christ child was coming to her breaking into what's called the Magnificat. It's a song you have Zechariah as he learned about the coming of the Christ child broke into what's called a not the minutes it's it's a song when the shepherds were watching their flocks by night and angelic choir, like a military choir, I think, appeared before them, and started singing glory to God in the highest peace on earth, goodwill toward men there all kinds of singing songs in the Christmas narrative. There's power in singing.
I hope all of our listeners will take some time today. During this Christmas season and just seeing sing 20 minutes sing with other people.
It lifts depression. It causes anxiety.
The full either something powerful in singing, especially these Christmas carols and would love we love the bills. The sound of the bells the tones of the bills and in that like since rates the music we its causes joy like nothing else.
And when we saying that there's joy that is released in our hearts and we just know that we know the world's not all bad. We know that we know that there's hope in the world. We need remind ourselves that one of the reasons for the Christmas season is to connect us to Easter that our sins are forgiven that Jesus is raised from the dead and gives us the promise of eternal life, and that's hope. Let's make sure we capture that word hope during this Christmas season because hope something we all need.
I mean we can live a certain amount of time in life without eating without drinking without sleeping, but we can't live one second without hope. Hope is a necessary quality for all of us.
So my hope everyone is during this Christmas time.
You will remember the reason for the season. Got so love this world, that he became one of us and he gives us the hope to continue to move forward. Life has purpose, life has meaning. We can keep living every day to the full know folks our listeners will enjoy having to show for you and one thing David the one things David does as these David visits David just dawned on me, you often say there would be no Easter if there wasn't Christmas. There's a connection between the cradle and the cross. That's gotta be there that this God who loves us so much. Enter the world to live the life we can't live to live the perfect life. None of us are able to live and then he took the penalty for our sins upon himself on the cross so that were forgiven for ever and the resurrection gives us again. The hope of eternal life. This life isn't all there is, in my case, that I'll see my mom again one day.
Her beautiful southern drawl expressed to me again I'll see my dad again who has a voice. I think God's envious of, I'll see my loved ones again. I'll see my friends again that life must have a hope in the cradle is the beginning, the first act of God's story to convince us that there is hope in this world. We know that God loves us. We know he cares for us. We know there's a purpose. We know there will one day be peace on earth and goodwill toward men. Therefore, we can live in complete joy knowing that the joy of the Lord is our strength, his joy consumes our hearts and we become his light in the world to bring that joy to other people we love God and love our neighbors. We do those two things and we know that's our life's calling and work to do