The following observations about the real spirit of Christmas and how they relate to the Christian life are worth considering. The excerpts are taken from Henry Van Dyke’s “Keeping Christmas” and appeared more than 40 years ago in Methodist Message.
THERE is a better thing than the observance of Christmas day, and that is … keeping … Christmas.
* Are you willing, for example, to forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you?
Whoever seeks to gain his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life will preserve it.
* To see that your fellowmen are just as real as you are, to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy?
… If God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
Whatever else is changed Throughout the years Let us always keep Christmas Its meaning never ends.
* Are you willing to stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children?
…for such belongs the Kingdom of heaven.
* To remember the weakness and loneliness of people who are growing old?
So whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them …
* To trim your lamp so it will give men light and less smoke and to carry it in front of you so that your shadow will fall behind you?
You are the light of the world…
Let your light so shine before men…
* Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world – stronger than death – and that the blessed Life which began in Bethlehem years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love? Then you can keep Christmas. And if you keep it for a day, why not always? But you can never keep it alone. – MM, December 1965, p.9.
Earnest Lau, the Associate Editor of Methodist Message, is also the Archivist of The Methodist Church in Singapore.
The MCS Archives and History Library is open from Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5.30 pm except during lunchtime from 12.30 pm to 1.30 pm.
Christmas musical presentation at Paya Lebar Chinese Methodist Church
PAYA LEBAR Chinese Methodist Church Combined Choirs will put on a Christmas musical presentation, “Come to the Manger”, in conjunction with its 70th Church Anniversary celebrations.
It will be presented at the church premises at 299, Upper Paya Lebar Road (Opposite Tai Keng Gardens) on Dec 7 at 7.30 pm. Admission is free.
The music is by Mark Hayes, one of the more prolific and multi-talented composers of Christian music today. The score reveals his wonderful pianism and his ability to transform traditional carols into something modern and yet still evocative of Christmas.
The pastors and leaders of the church are extending an invitation to everyone to “come and re-experience the story of Christmas and be blessed by the message of God’s love”.
For more enquiries, please call tel: 6286-7243, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
‘Come, Desire of nations, come, Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent’s head.
Now display Thy saving power, Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.’