Stories Behind the Great Traditions of Christmas – Ace Collins – Host, Dr. Freda Crews


>WELCOME TO TIME FOR HOPE. TODAY
OUR GUEST IS ACE COLLINS AND WE’RE TALKING ABOUT HIS NEWEST
BOOK, STORIES BEHIND THE GREAT TRADITIONS OF CHRISTMAS. THE
TRADITIONS OF CHRISTMAS LEND BEAUTY, AWE AND HOPE TO THE
HOLIDAY. CAUSING PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD TO ANTICIPATE IT WITH
JOY. THE STORIES OF THIS BOOK WILL WARM YOUR HEART AS YOU
REDISCOVER THE TRUE AND ETERNAL SIGNIFICANCE OF CHRISTMAS. ACE,
IT’S WONDERFUL HAVING YOU BACK ON TIME FOR HOPE.>IT’S A JOY TO BE HERE AGAIN AT
CHRISTMAS. I SO ENJOYED LAST YEAR AND I, I’M HONORED THAT YOU
WOULD HAVE ME BACK AGAIN THIS YEAR.>AND I SAID IT WAS YOUR NEWEST
BOOK, BECAUSE YOU ARE AN AUTHOR OF OVER FIFTY BOOKS I UNDERSTAND.>YES, WE’RE DOING NUMBER SIXTY
RIGHT NOW. AND SO, IT’S, YOU JUST KEEP TURNING THEM BECAUSE
YOU LOVE IT I GUESS. I LOVE THE RESEARCH. YOU AND I TALKED ABOUT
THAT OFF CAMERA. TO FIND THE STORIES BEHIND THINGS. TO FIND
THE TRUE MEANINGS OF ELEMENTS OF HISTORY. FIND OUT WHY THEY ARE
SIGNIFICANT IN OUR LIFE. I THINK THAT’S WHAT DRIVES ME AS MUCH AS
ANYTHING ELSE. AND I HAVE SEEN THE PAY BACK IN THAT WITH
LETTERS I’VE GOTTEN FROM PEOPLE WHO APPRECIATE SOMETHING, OR
IT’S CHANGED THEIR LIVES, OR IT’S IMPACTED THEM IN A VERY
SPECIAL WAY. I KNOW THE LAST TIME WE WERE ON THE SHOW WE
TALKED ABOUT THE STORY BEHIND CHRISTMAS SONGS AND I, WE TOLD
THE STORY OF ONE SONG AND I HAD A LADY WHO MET ME AND E-MAILED
ME AND INTRODUCED ME TO HER CHILDREN, WHO TOLD ME THAT SHE
NOW KNEW BECAUSE OF LISTENING TO THAT SONG, THAT HER CHILDREN
REALLY THINK OF HER AT CHRISTMAS THAT WAY AND SHE DIED OF CANCER.
AND YET, THESE THREE CHILDREN REMEMBER HER. BECAUSE OF
SOMETHING THAT WE HAD AN OPPORTUNITY TO TALK ABOUT ON THE
SHOW. AND THAT’S PRETTY REMARKABLE.>YOU DO GREAT RESEARCH AND I
KNOW THAT YOU HAVE A PASSION FOR IT. I CAN TELL THAT FROM READING
YOUR BOOKS. AND I THINK IT’S SO GREAT THAT I THINK YOU CAN GO
AND BRING HISTORY AND BRING US UP TO DATE ON SO MANY OF THESE
SUBJECTS THAT WE TAKE FOR GRANTED AND DON’T HAVE THE
SLIGHTEST IDEA WHAT’S BEHIND IT AND I WANT TO JUMP RIGHT INTO
WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT AND THAT IS CHRISTMAS AND THE
TRADITIONS OF CHRISTMAS. BUT I WANT TO GO BACK WHERE YOU
ACTUALLY BEGAN. WHEN IT WAS NOT A CHRISTIAN HOLIDAY. IT
LITERALLY WAS A HEATHEN HOLIDAY.>WELL, CHRISTMAS, DECEMBER 25TH,
THAT AREA OF THE TIME IN OLD DAYS, IN PRE-CHRIST DAYS WAS
WORSHIPPED AS THE END OF THE LONG, COLD WINTER. IT’S WHEN
DAYS STARTED TO GET LONGER SO THEY WORSHIPPED THE SUN-GOD. IN
SOME CASES WAS SATURN AND IN OTHER SOCIETIES IT WAS OTHER
NAMES. BUT IT WAS A TIME WHEN PEOPLE GOT TOGETHER AND
WORSHIPPED AND REALLY PARTIED AS MUCH AS ANYTHING ELSE BECAUSE
THE LONG, HARD, COLD WINTER WAS OVER. YOU AND I HAVE TALKED,
CHRIST WAS NOT BORN ON DECEMBER 25TH. THE SHEPHERDS WOULDN’T
HAVE BEEN IN THE FIELDS. THE FLOCKS WOULD HAVE BEEN LOCKED UP
BEHIND FENCES. IT HAD TO HAPPEN IN EITHER THE SPRING OR THE FALL
PROBABLY. BUT DECEMBER 25 BECAME THE HOLIDAY THAT WAS CHOSEN FOR
CHRIST’S BIRTH, BUT REALLY WASN’T DESIGNATED UNTO THE
300’S. YOU KNOW, THREE HUNDRED YEARS AFTER HE DIED WAS CHOSEN
BY THE CHURCH AND CONSTANTINOPLE, THE LEADER OF
ROME TO ATTEMPT TO QUIET THE PAGAN CELEBRATIONS THAT WERE
GOING ON TO ATTEMPT TO INJECT SOME CIVILITY AND SOME
SPIRITUALITY IN WHAT WAS A VERY UNSPIRITUAL TIME. IRONICALLY
ENOUGH FOR MUCH OF OUR TIME. THAT DIDN’T HAPPEN, WE, CHRIST’S
BIRTH WAS EMBRACED NOT WITH A RELIGIOUS POSTURE. IT WAS
EMBRACED MUCH LIKE THE HEATHEN HOLIDAYS THAT WORSHIPPED THE
SUN. AND WE FIND THAT SHOCKING BECAUSE WE THINK OF OLD
FASHIONED CHRISTMAS AS A VERY WORSHIPFUL TIME. MORE OFTEN THAN
NOT, THEY WERE ANYTHING BUT WORSHIPFUL TIMES. THE
ESTABLISHING OF A DAY FOR CHRISTMAS DID NOT IMMEDIATELY
ESTABLISH CHRISTMAS AS A HOLIDAY OF WORSHIP.>IT’S VERY INTERESTING WHEN WE
THINK ALSO, AND YOU BROUGHT THAT OUT IN YOUR INTRODUCTION, THAT
THE BIRTH OF CHRIST WAS NOT EVEN CELEBRATED, EVEN BY CHRISTIANS,
THE BIRTH, AT LEAST 125 YEARS AFTER HE WAS BORN. THEY LOOKED
MORE TO HIS DEATH AND HIS RESURRECTION.>THE RESURRECTION WAS THE KEY
PART. AND THAT’S WHAT CHRIST’S LIFE WAS ALL ABOUT. HENCE THE
BIRTH THAT WAS NOT SIGNIFICANT. IT WAS WHAT HE TAUGHT WHEN HE
WAS AN ADULT, WHAT HE STOOD FOR, HOW HE DIED AND THE MERE FACT
THAT HE ROSE UP AND SAVED PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS. THAT WAS HIS
WHOLE LIFE; HENCE THE BIRTH OF THE BABY JESUS WAS NOT AN EVENT
THAT REALLY CARRIED A GREAT DEAL OF SIGNIFICANCE FOR THE EARLY
CHURCH.>NOW THERE’S GOING TO BE SOME
OF OUR VIEWERS WHO ARE WATCHING THIS SHOW AND THEY ARE
IMMEDIATELY GOING TO THINK WELL WE SHOULDN’T BE USING A HEATHEN
HOLIDAY AND TRY TO MAKE THAT INTO A CHRISTIAN HOLIDAY. YOU
KNOW, THEY THINK THERE’S SOMETHING WRONG WITH THAT. BUT
IT HASN’T BEEN UNUSUAL THROUGH THE HISTORY OF THE CHURCH.>THE CHURCH HAS ADOPTED MANY
THINGS, AND IF YOU THINK ABOUT IT, IN A MISSIONARY SENSE, IT’S
WORTHWHILE. BECAUSE YOU GO IN TO WIN PEOPLE’S SOULS. YOU DON’T GO
IN TO CHANGE CULTURES. YOU WIN PEOPLE’S SOULS AND THEN THEY’LL
CHANGE THEMSELVES. AND YOU, WHEN YOU GO IN AND SPEAK THE LANGUAGE
AND IN A HINTERLAND OF AFRICA YOU EMBRACE WHAT THE MASI PEOPLE
ARE THINKING. IT’S VERY MUCH THE SAME WITH CHRISTIAN MISSIONARIES
AT THE TIME. THEY FOUND TALENTS, THEY FOUND TRADITIONS IN A
CULTURE WHERE THEY WERE REACHING OUT AND SAVING SOULS. AND
INCORPORATED THINGS LIKE THE YULE LOG, OR MISTLETOE, OR THOSE
KIND OF THINGS AND GAVE THEM CHRISTIAN SIGNIFICANCE AND
THEREBY THEY BECAME LEARNING TOOLS WHERE ONE COULD ACTUALLY
GROW IN THE FAITH. AND I THINK THAT BECAME VERY SIGNIFICANT AND
I THINK THAT’S WHY THEY’RE IN PART AN IMPORTANT PART OF
CHRISTMAS TODAY. IS EACH ONE OF THEM REPRESENTS A FACET THAT WE
CAN EMBRACE AS CHRISTIAN LIFE. KIND OF LIKE PARABLES THAT
CHRIST TOLD IN A WAY.>IT’S KIND OF LIKE GOING, GOING
WITH THE FLOW. YOU CAN’T FIGHT IT AND GET ANYWHERE. SO WHY NOT
KIND OF GO WITH IT AND WE GET SIGNIFICANCE OUT OF IT AND MAYBE
TAKE AWAY SOME OF THE HEATHEN ACTIVITY THAT GOES ALONG WITH IT.>IN MANY CASES WE’VE TAKEN AWAY
ALL OF THE HEATHEN ACTIVITY AND IT’S BECOME PURELY A CHRISTIAN
TRADITION. AND MANY OF THE THINGS WE HAVE IN HERE WE
EMBRACE. WE MAY BE SHOCKED AT THEIR BEGINNINGS, BUT WHAT
GLORIOUS, GLORIOUS THINGS THEY STAND FOR NOW.>AND IN A WAY WE’RE IMPACTING
THE WORLD WITH CHRIST’S KINGDOM WHEN WE DO THAT.>AND I THINK THAT’S THE MOST
EXCITING PART. BECAUSE PARTICULARLY CHILDREN CAN LEARN
SO MUCH FROM THESE TRADITIONS AND IT MAKES COMING TO CHRIST SO
MUCH EASIER.>WE’RE GOING TO GET INTO THEM.
TIME FOR A BREAK, STAY WITH US AND WE’LL BE RIGHT BACK.>JUSTIN K. KNIGHT PLAYS HIS
ARRANGEMENT OF JOY TO THE WORLD.>IT’S GOOD TO HAVE YOU REJOIN US
ON TIME FOR HOPE AS WE TALK WITH ACE COLLINS ABOUT HIS BOOK,
STORIES BEHIND THE GREAT TRADITIONS OF CHRISTMAS. BUT I
WANT TO SHARE SOMETHING FROM A VIEWER FIRST. .>AND I APPRECIATE THAT NOTE OF
ENCOURAGEMENT. THE WHOLE STAFF APPRECIATES NOTES LIKE THAT. AND
IF YOU HAVEN’T SENT ALONG YOUR NOTE TELLING US HOW MUCH TIME
FOR HOPE MEANS TO YOU, WE WOULD INVITE YOU TO DO SO. AT THE SAME
TIME WE WOULD INVITE YOU TO SHARE YOUR PRAYER REQUESTS WITH
US. AGAIN I REMIND YOU THAT WE TAKE EACH AND EVERY PRAYER
REQUEST THAT COMES IN TO TIME FOR HOPE, INDIVIDUALLY AND
PERSONALLY BEFORE GOD. KNOWING THAT THERE IS HOPE, THERE IS
HELP AND THAT THERE IS INTERVENTION. AND ON ANOTHER
NOTE I WOULD ADD, WE CAN ALWAYS USE YOUR FINANCIAL HELP. ACE,
THAT WAS A GREAT ENCOURAGEMENT. AND YOU KNOW BEING IN MINISTRY
AND HOSTING A RADIOSHOW AND THAT SORT OF STUFF IT’S LIKE A SHOT
IN THE ARM, ISN’T IT?>WHEN YOU HEAR WHAT PEOPLE WANT
TO SEE, OR LISTEN TO, IT DOES ENCOURAGE YOU AND IT REALLY
DRIVES WHAT YOU DO. AND THEREFORE, YOU CAN HAVE A
GREATER IMPACT IN LIFE. SO PEOPLE WRITING YOU I’M SURE IS
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT TOOLS YOU HAVE IN YOUR MINISTRY.>AND I APPRECIATE YOU SHARING
THAT AS A FELLOW CO-HOST IN MINISTRY. NOW, JUST WITHIN THE
LAST 200 YEARS, HAS CHRISTMAS BEEN ACCEPTED AS A CHRISTIAN
HOLIDAY. NOW THE PURITANS DIDN’T LIKE IT AT ALL DID THEY?>THEY OUTLAWED IT, THEY
OUTLAWED IT. AND IF YOU LIVED IN A PURITAN SECTION WHEN OLIVER
CROMWELL CAME TO POWER IN ENGLAND. THAT WAS ONE OF HIS
FIRST ACTS, WAS TO OUTLAW CHRISTMAS. PEOPLE SAY WHY? AND
IT, IT WAS A VIOLENT HOLIDAY. IT WAS A HOLIDAY OF DRINKING. IT
WAS LIKE MARDI GRAS ON STEROIDS. I MEAN IT WAS JUST AN INCREDIBLY
VIOLET TIME. WOMEN AND CHILDREN WERE NOT SAFE ON THE STREETS IN
ENGLAND OR AMERICA DURING THE CELEBRATION OF CHRISTMAS.
THERE’S NO CHRISTMAS CAROL, “WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS”, AND
THERE’S PART OF THAT CAROL THAT SAYS “WE WON’T LEAVE UNTIL WE
GET SOME”. THESE PEOPLE IN THESE ROAMING, VIOLENT BANDS ACTUALLY
BANGED ON PEOPLE’S DOOR DEMANDING FOOD AND DRINK AND
OTHER THINGS. IT WAS NOT A TIME WHEN CHILDREN WOULD GO OUT ON
THE STREETS. IT CERTAINLY WASN’T A TIME FOR WOMEN. HENCE, THE NYC
POLICE FORCE WAS FORMED TO COMBAT THE VIOLENCE THAT TOOK
PLACE ON CHRISTMAS DAY. SO IT WAS ANYTHING BUT A RELIGIOUS
HOLIDAY. IT WAS A HOLIDAY OF GREAT SINNING. I GUESS YOU WOULD
SAY, THE ONLY PLACE, NOW EASTERN EUROPE AND GERMANY AND PLACES
LIKE THAT, IT WAS A REVERENT HOLIDAY, BUT IN THE ANGLO SAXON
WORLD THAT WE KNOW, AMERICA AND THE U S IT WAS NOT A WONDERFUL,
REALLY UNTIL THE 1840’S, 1850’S. SO PEOPLE DON’T WANT AN OLD
FASHIONED CHRISTMAS IN THAT SENSE.>WE’VE COME A LONG WAYS THEN,>YES WE HAVE.>AND WE WOULD HAVE TO GIVE THAT
CREDIT, AS IT WERE, TO THE PIONEER CHRISTIANS THAT WERE
VERY ACTIVE IN TRYING TO TURN IT AROUND AND I WOULD THINK INSTEAD
OF YOU KNOW WE COMPLAIN SO OFTEN THAT WE FORGET THE REASON FOR
THE SEASON BUT WHEN YOU HAVE THAT DARK BACKGROUND, WE’VE
ACTUALLY COME A LONG WAYS IN REMEMBERING THE REASON FOR THE
SEASON.>WE’VE HAVE COME A LONG WAY,
REALIZE THAT IN THE FIRST SEVENTY YEARS THE U S CONGRESS
MET ON CHRISTMAS DAY UNLESS IT FELL ON SUNDAY. CHURCHES WERE,
PROTESTANT CHURCHES WERE NOT OPEN ON CHRISTMAS DAY, CHRISTMAS
EVE UNLESS IT WAS SUNDAY, IN THE FIRST YEARS OF AMERICAN WORSHIP.
THINGS BEGAN TO CHANGE AS I THINK CHILDREN BECAME A MORE
SIGNIFICANT PART OF CHRISTMAS. AND I THINK PART OF THAT WE OWE
TO THINGS THAT WE HATE. SOMETIME AS CHRISTIANS AND THAT’S THE
“NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS”. THE POEM THAT CERTAINLY EMPHASIZED
THE CHRISTMAS PART, THE CHILDREN PART OF CHRISTMAS. THEN YOU HAVE
THINGS LIKE CHARLES DICKENS WHO WAS WRITING THE CHRISTMAS CAROL.
HE WAS WRITING ABOUT SCROOGE AS MUCH AS ANYTHING ELSE AS A
SOCIAL COMMENTARY ON HOW DEPRESSED LIFE WAS TO THE
WORKING CLASS IN THE INDUSTRIAL AGE. INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. YET,
BY TALKING ABOUT THE SIGNIFICANCE OF GIVING, THE
SIGNIFICANCE OF GENEROSITY, THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HELPING YOUR
FELLOW MAN AND RECOGNIZING THE IMPORTANCE OF EACH INDIVIDUAL
WHO WORKED FOR YOU, HE STARTED TO GET PEOPLE TO THINK ABOUT
WHAT CHRISTMAS WAS ALL ABOUT. AND I THINK THE TURNING POINT
FOR CHRISTMAS AS A HOLIDAY OF WORSHIP AND A HOLIDAY OF FAMILY
PROBABLY WAS WHEN PRINCE ALBERT MARRIED QUEEN VICTORIA, BECAUSE
ALBERT WAS FROM GERMANY AND HE BROUGHT TO ENGLAND THE
TRADITIONS THAT ARE SO SYMBOLIC AND SO SIGNIFICANT IN OUR LIVES
TODAY, BE IT THE CHRISTMAS TREE, BE IT THE FAMILY GETTING
TOGETHER, BE IT CHILDREN AS A PART OF CHRISTMAS, GETTING
TOGETHER AND DOING THINGS AS A FAMILY. AND ALSO THE WORSHIP
PART THAT MARTIN LUTHER INSTILLED INTO GERMANS THAT IS
SO IMPORTANT AS A PART OF CHRISTMAS. SO REALLY, THE
CHRISTMAS THAT WE LOVE, THE CHRISTMAS THAT MEANS SO MUCH TO
US REALLY BEGAN ABOUT 1840, 1845.>ALRIGHT, LET’S PICK UP RIGHT
ON THAT THOUGHT IN THINKING OF SOME CURRENT THINGS THAT ARE SO
MUCH A PART OF ESPECIALLY AMERICANS CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS.
LIKE CHRISTMAS CARDS. THAT’S RELATIVELY RECENT, ISN’T IT?>CHRISTMAS CARDS OBVIOUSLY TWO
THINGS HAD TO HAPPEN. ONE, YOU HAD TO HAVE WHAT WE JUST TALKED
ABOUT. CHRISTMAS BECOMING A HOLIDAY OF FAMILY. AND TWO, YOU
HAD TO HAVE A CHEAP PRINTING OPERATION. AND THREE, YOU HAD TO
HAVE A RELIABLE POSTAGE. POSTAL SERVICE. WELL WHAT HAPPENED, SIR
HENRY COLE OF ENGLAND IN THE 1840’S WOULD GET LETTERS AT
CHRISTMAS AND IT WAS REALLY IMPOLITE NOT TO ANSWER MAIL. AND
YET, HE WAS SO BUSY WITH HIS FIVE OR SIX DIFFERENT JOBS. HE
WAS A CURATOR AT A MUSEUM. HE WAS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE
GOVERNMENT IN ENGLAND. THAT HE DIDN’T HAVE TIME TO ANSWER THEM.
AND HE REMEMBERED AS A CHILD HE DREW CHRISTMAS DRAWINGS FOR
SCHOOL. AND HE ACTUALLY HAD AN ARTIST DRAW A SCENE OF A
VICTORIAN FAMILY AROUND THE TABLE AT CHRISTMAS, HE SENT THAT
OUT IN 1843 TO A THOUSAND OF HIS FRIENDS AND WHAT HAPPENED IS,
THAT BEGAN THE TRADITION OF THE CHRISTMAS CARD WHICH SPREAD TO
THE U S ABOUT 1865, 1870. AND IT WAS VERY, VERY SIGNIFICANT. OVER
THE YEARS, ABOUT 1900 IS WHEN THEY HAD A LOT OF RELIGIOUS
SYMBOLISM IN THE WORLD. OF COURSE IT WAS KIND OF GENERIC
GREETINGS.>WELL, WE’RE COMING UP ON
ANOTHER BREAK, AND WE WANT TO GET BACK INTO SOME OF THESE
TRADITIONS WHEN WE RETURN. STAY WITH US AND WE’LL BE RIGHT BACK.
.>IT HAS TAKEN CENTURIES TO POOL
THE COMBINATIONS OF SECULAR AND RELIGIOUS CELEBRATIONS AND
TRADITIONS TOGETHER SO THAT WE HAVE WHAT WE KNOW AND CELEBRATE
TODAY AS CHRISTMAS. THERE ARE THOSE WHO TRY TO DETACH
THEMSELVES FROM OBSERVING IT ALL TOGETHER, BELIEVING IT TO BE A
HEATHEN HOLIDAY WITH ONLY THE TRAPPINGS OF A CHRISTIAN
CELEBRATION. OTHERS DO THEIR BEST TO KEEP THEIR FOCUS ON THE
REASON FOR THE SEASON. BELIEVING IT TO BE CELEBRATING THE
MIRACULOUS BIRTH OF JESUS CHRIST, THE SON OF GOD COMING
INTO THE WORLD TO REDEEM HIS PEOPLE FROM THEIR SINS. AND WE
WILL FIND OTHERS MERELY GOING ALONG FOR ALL THE FUN, PARTIES,
GIFTS AND OTHER FESTIVITIES CONNECTED TO THE BIGGEST AND
BRIGHTEST HOLIDAY OF THE YEAR. REFERRING TO THOSE WHO ATTEMPT
TO DETACH THEMSELVES FROM OBSERVING CHRISTMAS, WE MUST
CONCLUDE THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DO THIS ENTIRELY, UNLESS YOU
CAN TELL THE WORLD TO STOP SO THAT YOU CAN GET OFF AND CATCH
IT AGAIN AFTER THE FIRST OF THE YEAR. IF YOU FIT INTO THE CAMP
OF REMEMBERING THE REASON FOR THE SEASON, YOU WILL HAVE A
DIFFICULT TIME DISSECTING MERE TRADITION AND OTHER ACTIVITIES
OUT SO THAT YOU CAN REMAIN CENTERED ON THE BIRTH OF THE
CHRIST CHILD. AND IF YOU ARE FOUND IN THE LARGEST CROWD,
THOSE WHO SIMPLY GO ALONG FOR THE FUN AND FESTIVITIES, PLUS
EXCUSE TO INDULGE IN BEHAVIORS USUALLY BEING UNACCEPTABLE, YOU
WILL END UP THE LOSER FOR NOT HAVING LISTENED TO THE STORY OF
A SAVIOUR, WHO WAS BORN OVER 2,000 YEARS AGO IN BETHLEHEM IN
JUDEA. THE BABY JESUS WAS INDEED THE SON OF GOD. HE WAS BORN OF A
VIRGIN, LIVED A SINLESS LIFE, DIED ON AN OLD RUGGED CROSS, WAS
BURIED IN A BORROWED TOMB, AROSE AGAIN ON THE THIRD DAY AND NOW
SITS AT THE RIGHT HAND OF HIS FATHER, INTERCEDING FOR PEOPLE
LIKE YOU. WHY NOT MAKE THIS CHRISTMAS REALLY SPECIAL, BY
HEEDING THE VOICE OF THE CHRIST CHILD. NOW ALL GROWN UP AND BACK
IN HEAVEN WITH HIS FATHER, WHO SAYS “BE EARNEST AND REPENT”.
THAT IS CHANGE YOUR MIND ABOUT HIM AND YOUR SINFUL BEHAVIOR.
“HERE I AM, I STAND AT THE DOOR”, OF COURSE “OF YOUR HEART
AND KNOCK. IF ANYONE HEARS MY VOICE AND OPENS THE DOOR, I WILL
COME IN”. REVELATION 3: 19-20 .>JUSTIN K. KNIGHT PERFORMS HIS
ARRANGEMENT OF SILENT NIGHT.. ..>WELCOME BACK TO TIME FOR HOPE.
WE’RE TALKING WITH ACE COLLINS ABOUT HIS BOOK, STORIES BEHIND
THE GREAT TRADITIONS OF CHRISTMAS. ACE WHEN I THINK OF
CHRISTMAS, I THINK OF MEMORIES AND YOU KEEP STRESSING FAMILY
AND TIMES TOGETHER AND MY MEMORIES OF CHRISTMAS GO WAY
BACK TO MY GRANDPARENTS AND ALL MY UNCLES AND AUNTS AND IT BEING
A WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR. ACTUALLY OUR UNCLES WOULD START
EARLY IN PUTTING ON A SANTA CLAUS FACE AND COMING OUT AND
SCARING US WHEN WE WERE VERY YOUNG, IN OUR GRANDPARENTS HOME.
BUT YOU THINK OF FOOD, YOU THINK OF FAMILY, YOU THINK OF HAVING,
YOU KNOW JUST A GOOD TIME OF FELLOWSHIP AND FUN EVEN WITH
EXTENDED FAMILY. SO WHEN DID THAT ALL START HAPPENING?>I, I REALLY THINK THAT IN
GERMANY AND AUSTRIA AND THOSE PLACES THAT HAPPENED PROBABLY IN
THE 1300, 1400 AND 1500’S. LUTHER OBVIOUSLY DID IT. HE
STRESSED IT IN HIS CONGREGATION. HE WAS THE ONE WHO GAVE US
LIGHTS ON THE CHRISTMAS TREE. YOU KNOW WITH CANDLES. AND
CREATED I GUESS, THE FIRST FIRE HAZARD AT CHRISTMAS TOO IN DOING
THAT. BUT, IN THE U S REALLY IT GOES BACK TO THE 1850’S, 1860’S
THE LAST 150 YEARS THE U S AND ENGLAND IS WHEN THE FAMILY
BECAME A SIGNIFICANT PART OF THE CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION. WHEN IT
BECAME WORSHIPFUL IN THAT RESPECT. YET, THERE ARE ELEMENTS
OF CHRISTMAS SUCH AS ADVENT THAT GO BACK CLEAR TO THE BEGINNINGS
OF THE CHURCH, REALLY ADVENT’S 1500 YEARS OLD NOW. AND PEOPLE,
HAVE KIND OF LOST WHAT ADVENT MEANS.>AND NOW WAS THAT IMMEDIATELY?
ADVENT CONNECTED WITH CHRISTMAS AND THE BIRTH OF CHRIST?>WHEN THE CHURCH BEGINS TO
CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS, ABOUT 500 OR 600 AD, WHEN IT REALLY BECAME
AN IMPORTANT FACET OF WORSHIP FOR IN PARTICULAR THE CATHOLIC
CHURCH. ADVENT WAS BROUGHT AS A WAY OF LOOKING FORWARD TO THE
COMING OF CHRISTMAS. AND WE HAD TALKED ABOUT IN THE PAST, THE
THREE COMINGS. AND THAT’S WHAT ADVENT WAS ALL ABOUT. YOU’RE
SUPPOSED TO THINK OF THE COMING OF THE BABY JESUS. SO THE COMING
OF THE BIRTH OF CHRIST. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT THE COMING OF
CHRIST IN YOUR LIFE. AND THE COMING OF THE SECOND RULE OF
CHRIST, THE SECOND COMING. THOSE WERE THE THREE COMINGS YOU WOULD
LOOK FORWARD TO. AND IT WAS SET OUT AS THE MONTH BEFORE
CHRISTMAS TO LOOK AT THE THREE MEANINGS OF CHRIST’S LIFE. THE
PRESENT, THE PAST AND THE FUTURE. AND THE PRESENT OF
COURSE, BEING THE MOST IMPORTANT IN SOME WAYS, BECAUSE THAT’S
CHRIST IN YOUR LIFE AND HOW YOU REFLECT LIFE. THAT’S WHAT ADVENT
WAS AND IT GREW REALLY FROM THE NORSEMEN MAKING ADVENT WREATHS
AND IT WAS SYMBOLIC OF EVERGREEN BEING THE ONLY TREE THAT COULD
LAST IN TOUGH TIMES. THE CANDLE BEING ADDED FOR THE LIGHT OF
CHRIST, THEN OTHER CANDLES BEING ADDED FOR THE VARIOUS SYMBOLS OF
THE TIME, THE RED CANDLE BEING FOR THE DEATH ON THE CROSS AND
SO ADVENT IS VERY SIGNIFICANT. NOW WE THINK OF IT WITH CANDLES,
THE CALENDARS. WE THINK OF WREATHS. BUT I LOVE THE FACT
THAT WHEN I DID THE RESEARCH IT’S A HOLIDAY THAT CELEBRATES
THE COMING OF CHRIST IN THREE WAYS. PARTICULARLY THE COMING OF
CHRIST IN YOUR OWN LIFE.>THAT’S THE GOSPEL, ISN’T IT?>YES IT IS.>THAT HE WAS BORN THE SON OF
GOD; HE WAS THE SON OF GOD, WHO BECAME THE SON OF MAN THAT SONS
OF MEN MIGHT BECOME SONS OF GOD. I LOVE IT AND IT’S ALL WRAPPED
IN THERE AND OUR HOPE TODAY IS HIS SECOND RETURN TO SET UP HIS
KINGDOM.>AND WOULDN’T IT BE WONDERFUL
IF EVERYBODY HAD THAT COMING EXPERIENCE AS THEY LOOK FORWARD
TO CHRISTMAS?>YES AND PERHAPS WHEN THEY
REFLECT ON HIS BIRTH, AND IF IT’S PUT OUT IN A WAY THAT WE’RE
TALKING ABOUT, IT COULD CAUSE THEM TO WANT THAT PERSONAL
RELATIONSHIP WITH THE SON OF GOD.>EXACTLY.>LET’S LOOK AT SOME OTHER
THINGS THAT MOST OF US THINK OF WHEN WE THINK OF CHRISTMAS AND
THAT’S POINSETTIAS. WHERE, HOW DID WE GET POINSETTIAS?>THE ONLY REAL AMERICAN
TRADITION IS POINSETTIAS AND THEY CAME FROM MEXICO. AND ONCE
AGAIN IT GOES BACK, THEY WERE ORIGINALLY PAGAN. USED BY THE
AZTECS AS PART OF SACRIFICE AND WORSHIP. IT WAS EMBRACED BY A
VERY SHREWD MISSIONARY. A CATHOLIC MISSIONARY WHO USED THE
POINSETTIA AS A PLANT THAT BLOOMED. ACTUALLY THE RED
LEAVES, THEY’RE NOT FLOWERS, AS BLOOMED IN THE WINTER TIME TO
REPRESENT THE BIRTH OF CHRIST. THERE’S A WONDERFUL LEGEND IN
THE BOOK ABOUT IT THAT IS A LEGEND. IT’S NOT TRUE. BUT IT
REALLY IS A WONDERFUL STORY TO SHOW CHILDREN ABOUT THE POWER OF
GIVING. AND IT’S A PART OF CHRISTMAS AS WELL. BUT THAT’S
OUR AMERICAN TRADITION.>WE CAN CLAIM THAT HUH? WE’LL
TEASE THEM OUT WITH THAT AND MOVE ON TO THE WHOLE IDEA OF
USING AN X WITH CHRISTMAS. X-MAS. I KNOW THERE ARE THOSE
THAT ARE ANTI-X-MAS BECAUSE THEY THINK WE’RE TAKING CHRIST OUT OF
IT, BUT LITERALLY IT’S PUTTING CHRIST INTO IT ISN’T IT?>IT IS ONE OF THE OLDEST
CHRISTMAS, AND OLDEST CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS THAT GOES WITH
CHRISTMAS AND GOES WITH LIFE OF CHRIST, BECAUSE X WAS THE FIRST
LETTER IN CHRIST’S NAME IN THE GREEK ALPHABET KAI. MANY, MANY
PEOPLE IN THE MIDDLE AGES, FOR INSTANCE, COULD NOT READ OR
WRITE. BUT THEY COULD RECOGNIZE THAT X. AND SO A LOT OF THE
CHURCH TEXT HAD X STANDING FOR CHRIST. IF YOU READ A LOT OF THE
OLD CATHOLIC DOCUMENTS IT’S X-MAS RATHER THAN CHRISTMAS. AND
IT’S DONE THAT WAY AS A WAY ONE TO SAVE INK, BECAUSE INK WAS
EXPENSIVE. BUT ALSO AS A WAY FOR PEOPLE WHO COULD NOT READ OR
ILLITERATES CAN DO THAT. THEY CAN ACTUALLY AND YOU COULD
ACTUALLY ASK PEOPLE, TELL ME WHAT YOUR FAITH IS? AND THEY
COULD PICK UP A PEN OR PENCIL, EVEN IF THEY COULDN’T READ OR
WRITE THEY COULD PUT THE X AND THE X STOOD FOR CHRIST. IN THE
OLD CHURCH, WHEN CHRISTIANS WERE MARTYRED AND THEY FELL ON THE
GROUND, THEY WOULD ACTUALLY PUT AN X ON THAT SPOT. FOR X MARKS
THE SPOT WHERE THIS PERSON GAVE THEIR LIFE FOR CHRIST. WE THINK
OF IT NOW AS TAKING CHRIST OUT OF CHRISTMAS, THE EARLY CHURCH
WOULD HAVE THOUGHT X -MAS WAS THE ULTIMATE IN PUTTING CHRIST
INTO CHRISTMAS. BECAUSE X WAS THEIR SYMBOL FOR CHRIST. SO WE
CAN TURN THAT AROUND INTO MODERN TIMES TOO, TO MEAN SOMETHING
VERY SIGNIFICANT FOR ALL OF US.>WELL, YOU’VE GOT SO MANY MORE
IN YOUR BOOK AND OF COURSE I ENCOURAGE OUR VIEWERS TO GET A
COPY OF YOUR BOOK. WE’VE SIMPLY TEASED THEM ABOUT. THEY CAN FIND
OUT ABOUT HANDEL’S MESSIAH, AND HOW FIRST OF ALL IT WAS AN
EASTER CELEBRATION AND USED FOR EASTER RATHER THAN FOR
CHRISTMAS. AND HOW IT CAME TO FIT INTO CHRISTMAS.>TREES, ORNAMENTS, GIFTS,
THEY’RE ALL IN THERE AND IT’S A WONDERFUL CELEBRATION OF
CHRISTMAS TO FIND OUT HOW ALL OF THIS STARTED.>AND IT’S BEAUTIFUL, ACE THANK
YOU SO MUCH.>AS ALWAYS, THANK YOU FOR
HAVING ME HERE.>AND ITS GOOD HAVING YOU ON
TIME FOR HOPE AND WE LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR JOINING US AGAIN
NEXT WEEK. .>TO ORDER OUR RESOURCES, FOLLOW
THE INSTRUCTIONS ON YOUR SCREEN. .

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