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Thread: 'reason for the season'

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    #1

    'reason for the season'

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    I do NOT want this to turn into a debate about Christmas and religion. Please understand that and then read on...

    My family is (finally) having a pseudo group Christmas with one side of the family all in one house, which is awesome and less running amok for us. Family dinner, etc etc. My grandpa emailed me and asked me to read the following before dinner (out loud) to remind us all of the 'reason for the season'. Note: he's never been very religious as far as I've known him.

    Full confession time: I was raised Baptist, haven't been to church in probably 6 years due to a variety of issues with some of the members of my childhood church family (loved my pastor and his family, loved a few of the others dearly, and there were some bad beans in the pot causing drama), not sure what I am now. I do not understand why he's choosing this particular reading, why it's so flippin' long, and I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions for something that feels more relevant and/or is shorter. I think a big part of why I'm confused why he chose this is that it ends in the oddest of spots and there's no wrap up to the story. I know the basic story of Christmas/Christ's birth, but haven't really read the Bible in a long, long time. I don't really have a problem reading something, but I'd rather have it have a clear point & be concise.

    Apologies in advance for a seriously long block of text!

    "As told by Matthew

    His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly.
    But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins."
    All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel"--which means, "God with us."
    When Joseph woke up, he did what the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took Mary home as his wife. But he had no union with her until she gave birth to a son. And he gave him the name Jesus.
    After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, "Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him."
    When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people's chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. "In Bethlehem in Judea," they replied, "for this is what the prophet has written: "'But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'" Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, "Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him."
    After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed.
    On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh. And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.
    When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him."
    So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son."
    When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. Then what was said through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: "A voice is heard in Ramah, weeping and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children and refusing to be comforted, because they are no more."
    After Herod died, an angel of the Lord appeared in a dream to Joseph in Egypt and said, "Get up, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel, for those who were trying to take the child's life are dead."
    So he got up, took the child and his mother and went to the land of Israel. But when he heard that Archelaus was reigning in Judea in place of his father Herod, he was afraid to go there. Having been warned in a dream, he withdrew to the district of Galilee, and he went and lived in a town called Nazareth. So was fulfilled what was said through the prophets: "He will be called a Nazarene." "


    TL, DR: Confused on choice of passage a family member wants me to read out loud at Christmas dinner. Looking for clarification and/or suggestions of a shorter/more well written for the meaning passage.
    I live dangerously - I drink whiskey while knitting.
  2. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
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    #2
    I'm guessing he ended it there because that's where the chapter ends? I agree it's kind of abrupt but the story actually continues on ... I guess the chapter ends there because the point is that the prophecy came to pass. I feel like maybe he was trying to keep it concise because he also chopped off a bit of the first chapter that talks more about genealogy.

    Of course all that is a guess - maybe you could ask him? Is he going to be at the dinner but wants you to read it? I would ask him why he picked it (not in a rude way, but just like hey I'd be glad to read it but wanted to talk about the verses) and maybe that would give you some insight. I'm sure there's shorter stuff out there but it might be important to him to have a Gospel reading and they're not exactly the most concise writings.
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    #3
    Chapter ending does make sense!! I also don't want to read a whole Bible chapter out right before dinner. Everyone would be there (aunts, uncles, assorted siblings, grandparents).

    I'm a little hesitant to ask because I'm still a little peeved at him for throwing a hissy about Christmas lists (which feels very ironic to me right now too, also not helpful to the situation). We do a Secret Santa for that side, and a requirement is to send a short Christmas gift idea list to everyone so people have an idea of what to get you. Hubs doesn't want any gifts for a variety of reasons, and just asked that if someone were to get him something, please donate to a charity like Toys for Tots or Boy Scouts or really anything that you believe in, since those individuals would benefit more than he would from a gift. Grandpa threw a hissy that how dare Hubs not put 'real gifts' for people to buy???! So that's probably coloring my interpretation of this a bit, since it's a weird transition from "how dare no gifts" to "let's celebrate the real reason for the season".

    Anywho. Probably give it a couple days and then ask what exactly he's trying to have said, and suggest it's a bit too long for a pre-dinner reading. Might also try to pass it off to a sister, and hopefully it doesn't offend him too much.
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    #4
    We read this every year before we open presents, but I prefer Luke's account, and I prefer the KJV- I just think the language is prettier, and the flow of the story is less disjointed:

    1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Csar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
    2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
    3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
    4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Juda, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David
    5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
    6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
    7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
    8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
    9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
    10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
    11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
    12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
    13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
    14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
    15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
    16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
    17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
    18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
    19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
    20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

    Would he maybe be ok with showing a video like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YijgnaGk2Us ?

    Or for something shorter and more nostalgic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CojUP5nRidA
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    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by TheSisterWife View Post
    We read this every year before we open presents, but I prefer Luke's account, and I prefer the KJV- I just think the language is prettier, and the flow of the story is less disjointed:

    1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Csar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.
    2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)
    3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.
    4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Juda, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David
    5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.
    6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.
    7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.
    8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
    9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
    10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
    11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
    12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
    13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
    14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
    15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
    16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
    17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
    18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
    19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
    20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

    Would he maybe be ok with showing a video like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YijgnaGk2Us ?

    Or for something shorter and more nostalgic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CojUP5nRidA
    Those are great ideas! Plus, who doesn't love Charlie Brown??! Thank you!
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    #6
    I would also do Luke over Matthew. Did you talk to him about it yet?


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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by rayfinkle View Post
    I would also do Luke over Matthew. Did you talk to him about it yet?
    I did. He doesn't want to change any of what the reading is, no videos, not even multiple readers, but at least now we're doing it after dinner instead of before. It was a fight just to get that, which is really odd.
    I live dangerously - I drink whiskey while knitting.

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