In the Minister’s Manual are found the words, “Consider Again Christmas. When Pope Julius I authorized December 25 to be celebrated as the birthday of Jesus in A.D. 353, who would have ever thought that it would become what it is today. When Professor Charles Follen lit candles on the first Christmas tree in America in 1832, who would have ever thought that the decorations would become as elaborate as they are today. It is a long time since 1832, longer still from 353, longer still from that dark night brightened by a special star in which Jesus the king was born. Yet, as we approach December 25 again, it gives us yet another opportunity to pause, and in the midst of all the excitement and elaborate decorations and expensive commercialization which surround Christmas today, to consider again the event of Christmas and the person whose birth we celebrate.” We just got back from our Florida vacation and part of that time was spent at Disney World. Boy, do they do Christmas! What was amazing to me is that amidst all the glitz and glamor that is Disney that the music that was piped throughout the parks was 90% Christian Christmas Carols. We even attended a Christmas Concert of Carols which included the reading of the Christmas story by a well known actor. Somehow amidst all the pluralism of our age, Disney had not forgot what Christmas was really all about. It left Anne and me with such a good feeling that will lead us through the Christmas season. What an opportunity we have to witness to our faith in this time of year when people are thinking about the season and so we should be unafraid to say to people, “Merry Christmas.” If a secular enterprise like Disney World can do that so can we. This year we are going to have our first Candlelight and Carols Service at Lakes Area Christian Fellowship. It will be on Christmas Eve at 5:00 pm. This is a great opportunity to invite friends and family to remember the true meaning of Christmas. I have heard and read many articles on how Christmas has become so commercialized. Undoubtedly that is true but I am not a Scrooge when it comes to celebrating the birth of Christ. The reason we give gifts to each other is because we have received the greatest gift of all from God himself, namely His Son. If we only think about the tinsel and the gifts and forget the reason that we are celebrating, there is a problem. But if the gifts and tinsel add to the celebration that brings us back to the manger in Bethlehem, that is a good thing. Christmas should be merry. This is not a time to fret over all the problems of the world. This is the time to remember that God sent the solution to all the problems of the world. So MERRY CHRISTMAS!