Tag  |  Christmas

December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas from the whole ODJ team! How have you grown in your faith with ODJ since last Christmas?

the Light of Christmas


—copy and design submitted by Terry and Pat Lampel, US

away in a manger

According to a Gallup Poll, “Away in a Manger” was voted the second most popular carol. Although some of what we sing isn’t mentioned in the Bible (for example, cattle present at Jesus’ birth or Jesus not crying), the carol affirms some deep theological truths.

December 16, 2013

Emmanuel . . . God with us! What does this mean to you?

December 9, 2013

With which character in the accounts of Jesus' birth in the Bible do you most identify? Why?

a dad for Christmas

Most children will ask Santa for an extensive list of toys and treats this Christmas. A study of 2,000 British parents revealed, however, that the majority of children in the UK put a new baby brother or sister at the top of their Christmas list, closely followed by a request for a real-life reindeer. The 10th most popular Christmas wish on the list was a “Dad.”

December 2, 2013

How are you celebrating Advent this year?

unlikely gifts

The 166 female inmates at Davao City Jail in Mindanao didn’t have much. But as they saw it, others had even less. Typhoon Pablo had just swept over the southern Philippines, killing more than 1,000 human beings, splintering houses, annihilating crops, and leaving nearly a million people homeless.


There are three major events in Jesus’ life that most Christian churches commemorate with special services: Christmas, celebrating Jesus’ incarnation and birth; Good Friday, commemorating His crucifixion and death; and Easter Sunday,celebrating His resurrection—His coming back from the dead. Some churches include Pentecost Sunday as the church’s birthday. There is, however, one important event that is forgotten by most Christians: Ascension Day—the day Jesus was taken into heaven. For some reason, our Lord’s return to heaven is not given the prominence in the church that it deserves.

Christmas anytime, anywhere

The year has come and is almost over,

yet, the end of the world is still not here—

from mishaps, God helps us to recover

to enjoy His season of yuletide cheer.


We need not meet the Lord face to face

to thank Him for His amazing grace;

still, the mercy He showered upon us

can also be shown…

a king born for all

Scene one: A stable in Bethlehem, Judea. There, a group of shepherds kneel before a baby sleeping in a feeding trough (Luke 2:8-20). The society of the day despises these grimy, unclean shepherds, and they can’t believe they’re here. How could they have been given such a privilege?

close to the cradle

The angels were on the verge of a brawl. As characters in our church’s nativity scene, a multitude of small girls outfitted in white gowns and halos had assembled around the cradle. Unfortunately, some eager cherubs decided that they wanted a better look at the baby. Pushing and elbowing ensued. Finally, one little girl turned to the audience and cried, “Mommy!” just before the nativity director ushered everyone off the stage.

mary’s risky calling

May everything you have said about me come true” (Luke 1:38). With those words a young (probably teenage) Mary responded to the greatest discipleship call ever given. She had been chosen to give birth to the Son of God. The ramifications would be huge.


Having grown up in a nonliturgical denomination, I remember the first time my family celebrated Christmas with an Advent wreath. My dad, who was a pastor, had changed his denominational association, and with it came the emphasis on the church calendar. In high school when the transition came, I noted the differences and gained a true appreciation for the ceremony I had encountered only on occasion before this time. While I loved the symbolism in the lighting of each candle, the observance as a whole brought a sense of spiritual anticipation previously unstirred by gifts under the tree.

born to die

We’re well into that special time of the year when our focus turns to the celebration of Jesus’ birth (Luke 2:1-20). The world has never been the same since that sacred night in Bethlehem so many years ago.

We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, by continuing to use this site you agree to this. Find out more on how we use cookies and how to disable them.