JESUS – THE REASON FOR THE SEASON                                                                              THE MELTING POT
                                                                                                               November/December 2010
Throughout history, the influence Jesus had on the lives of people has never been
                                                                                                               Isaiah 56:7: “…my house will be called a house of prayer for all
surpassed. People who encounter the risen Christ stay true to their faith and they do not
hesitate to face hardship, persecution and even death.
                                                                                               Our Mission: Inform--Inspire—Involve
Following Jesus' crucifixion, his disciples were devastated. But after they met the
resurrected Christ, they were radically changed. Many were tortured and killed because                      Church & Day Care Family Community Picnic
they proclaimed Jesus was alive.

                 Schaff:                Nazareth,
Historian Philip Schaff: "This Jesus of Nazareth, without money and arms, conquered
more millions than Alexander, Caesar, Mohammed, and Napoleon; without science...he
shed more light on things human and divine than all philosophers and scholars combined;
without the eloquence of schools, he spoke such words of life as were never spoken before
or since, and produced effects which lie beyond the reach of orator or poet; without writing
a single line, he set more pens in motion, and furnished themes for more sermons, orations,
discussions, learned volumes, works of art, and songs of praise than the whole army of
great men of ancient and modern times."

In our own age, many skeptics have been convinced just as thoroughly their first-century
counterparts. Lew Wallace, a famous general and literary genius, was a known atheist who
sought information that would forever destroy Christianity. While writing a book, he found
himself on his knees crying out to Jesus, "My Lord and my God."

Not only does the love of Christ impel Christians to face persecution and death but also
                                                 Theresa, well-
to work to make the world a better place. Mother Theresa, well-known for her ministry
among the poor, said: "Our work is only the expression of the love we have for God."

William and Katherine Booth, founders of the Salvation Army, believed that ministering
to the poor was like ministering to Christ Himself. The movement they launched enlisted
the tireless efforts of enthusiastic people who wanted to make a difference in the world
around them.

All of these followers of Jesus have found fulfillment and joy in following the teachings of
Jesus. They were transformed when they met Christ and yielded their lives to him. You
may also wish to encounter the living God and experience His transforming power.
Christ's desire is to enter your heart and give you a new life in him.
                CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD                                            [Adapted from Hal N. Ostrander, Chair, Religion & Philosophy Division, Brewton-
                                                                                                                           Parker College, Mt. Vernon, May 6, 2004]

               Africa-Christmas is celebrated by Christian communities
               large and small. There are approximately 350 million
               Christians in Africa. On Christmas day carols are sung,
               meats are roasted, gifts exchanged and family visits made.
               The Coptic Christians in Ethiopia and Egypt celebrate
Christmas on the 7th of January.
                                                                                                       THE SALLY ANN CAFÉ EXPERIENCE
Brazil - Brazilians are a mix of people from many parts of the world, and
                                                                                                       The experience can be summed up in six words:
as a former Portuguese colony, they have many Christmas customs which
                                                                                   ENRICHING, ENLIGHTENING, EXCITING, EXUBERATING, ELATING, ENERGISING
originate from this heritage. The people of Northern Brazil, as in Mexico,
enjoy a version of the folk play Los Pastores or "The Shepherds." In the
                                                                                                                                  food,          fellowship
                                                                                  With the Lord’s abundant blessings of spiritual food uplifting fellowshi and fun discussions
Brazilian version, there are shepherdesses rather than shepherds and a
                                                                                                                              around the table.
gypsy who attempts to kidnap the Christ Child.

Devout Catholics attend Midnight Mass or Missa do Galo (rooster). The
rooster announces the coming day and the Missa do Galo finishes at 1 AM
on Christmas morning! Catholics go to church, but the masses are mostly
late afternoon. Decorations include fresh flowers from the garden. Part of
the display is fireworks and huge Christmas "trees" of electric lights.

China - Christians celebrate by lighting their houses with beautiful paper
lanterns and decorating their Christmas trees or "Trees of Light," with
paper chains, flowers and lanterns. Children hang muslin stockings and
await a visit from Santa Claus or Dun Che Lao Ren ("Christmas Old Man”).

Since the vast majority of the Chinese people are not Christian, the main
winter festival is the Chinese New Year towards the end of January. Now
officially called the "Spring Festival," it is a time when children receive new
clothing, eat luxurious meals, receive new toys, and enjoy firecracker
displays. An important aspect is the worship of ancestors. Portraits and
paintings of ancestors are hung in the main room of the home.

Iran (Persia) - The land where the Three Wise Men lived when Jesus was
born. Christians begin fasting (“Little Fast”) from animal products on Dec
1. "Big Fast" occurs during Lent, six weeks preceding Easter. After Church
service of Dec 25 they enjoy Christmas dinner which they call "Little
Feast”. Gifts are not exchanged but children wear new clothes on
Christmas Day.

India - Christians decorate mango or banana trees and their houses with
mango leaves. Small clay oil-burning lamps are used as Christmas
decorations on the roofs and walls. Churches are decorated with
poinsettias and lit with candles for the Christmas Evening service.

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