Central church of Christ Central church of Christ
10th & Bell
Shawnee, Oklahoma
405)273-3065

Click here for previous bulletins


Bulletin for Sunday 12/18/2005

AMONG FRIENDS
with Robert Prater

What should we do about the holiday time and Christmas? Each year we as Christians face this troubling question. Should we celebrate Christmas as most other groups claiming faith in Christ, or should we abstain totally from any activity that hints of divine or spiritual matters during this annual world festival? This can be tough. We are almost caught in a balancing act. Yet, I believe we must be both Biblical and positive and constructive about Christmas! Personally, Christmas is one of my favorite holidays. I relish the family, children, presents, food, decorations, and excitement that Christmas time brings. These all combine to make Christmas a special time for my family and I suppose a great many of your family's experience as well at this time of year.

However, in the midst of all of this, I do think we need to be aware of the historical background concerning Christmas, and especially as it pertains to Biblical and spiritual questions about what our duties are as Christians when it comes to what the church should teach and celebrate.

The best evidence from all factual and reliable historical accounts, asserts that after the Roman emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in the empire in 313 A.D., there was a mass entrance of former pagans into the church (not the Lord's church, but the apostate church). As a result, Christmas more than likely began in order to provide these "Christians" with an alternative holiday to the pagan celebration of the winter solstice which pagans had celebrated that time of year. In an effort to lead people away from this pagan practice, they set aside a day to celebrate the Son of the one and true living God rather than some false invisible sun deity. Thus, Christ's Mass - Christmas was born. So the final establishment of the date of December 25 was not related to a supposed actual date of Jesus' birth. Over the years pagan worship died out as their gods and holidays were consumed with "Christian" themes. This and not Scripture, is the background of the Christmas holiday.

Now when one turns to the Bible, it certainly tells of the birth of Christ and indeed it was an incredibly significant event. Yet, the Scriptures simply do not reveal the exact time of year when Christ was born nor even hint of God's desire to celebrate Jesus' birth with some official observance. When one examines the New Testament record, there is no evidence that the inspired apostles of the first century instructed the church to observe Christmas as a "holy day" of any kind. The only "holy day" if you will, which New Testament Christians are commanded to observe is the first day of the week, on which we partake of The Lord's Supper to remember His death, burial, resurrection and second coming. (See Luke 22:14-20; Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Cor. 11:17-34; Rev. 1:10) This is the only memorial by God that Christians are commanded to observe.

It is for this reason that most churches of Christ generally hold no special observances of Christmas. We simply have no direct command, nor approved example to do so otherwise. We want to be very cautious about the way we handle anything when it comes to the Christian faith. (Col. 3:17) We are dedicated to always "speaking only where the Bible speaks." (1 Cor. 4:6) We do not wish to "teach as doctrines the commandments of men." (Matt. 15:7-8) We simply do not have the right to establish an official religious or church holiday in light of the birth of Jesus, or any other event of His life without Biblical authority. Next week though we'll look at why we still need to be positive and constructive towards the Christmas season.

--Robert--(robprater@sbcglobal.net)


SYMPATHY

We express our loving sympathy and concern for our brethren at Thomas St. in Altus. Their large building was a total loss to fire on one of the coldest days last week, and firemen were hampered by the cold. We are grateful that their family-life center, a separate building, remained intact. There are members at Central who have close ties to Thomas Street.


THANK YOU

We appreciate so much the cards and visits of everyone remembering our 50th Anniversary. It is a blessing to belong to a loving and thoughtful family here at Central.

Robert & Ann Perry


JANUARY

DAILY BIBLE READINGS

Date O.T. Reading Date N.T. Reading
1 Gen. 1,2,3 1 Matt. 1
2 Gen. 4,5,6 2 Matt. 2
3 Gen. 7,8,9 3 Matt. 3
4 Gen. 10,11,12 4 Matt. 4
5 Gen. 13,14,15 5 Matt. 5:1-26
6 Gen. 16,17 6 Matt. 5:27-48
7 Gen. 18,19 7 Matt. 6:1-18
8 Gen. 20,21,22 8 Matt. 6:19-34
9 Gen. 23,24 9 Matt. 7
10 Gen. 25,26 10 Matt. 8:1-17
11 Gen. 27,28 11 Matt. 8:18-34
12 Gen. 29,30 12 Matt. 9:1-17
13 Gen. 31,32 13 Matt. 9:18-38
14 Gen. 33,34,35 14 Matt. 10:1-20
15 Gen. 36,37,38 15 Matt. 10:21-42
16 Gen. 39,40 16 Matt. 11
17 Gen. 41,42 17 Matt. 12:1-23
18 Gen. 43,44,45 18 Matt. 12:24-50
19 Gen. 46,47,48 19 Matt. 13:1-30
20 Gen. 49,50 20 Matt. 13:31-58
21 Ex. 1,2,3 21 Matt. 14:1-21
22 Ex. 4,5,6 22 Matt. 14:22-36
23 Ex. 7,8 23 Matt. 15:1-20
24 Ex. 9,10,11 24 Matt. 15:21-39
25 Ex. 12,13 25 Matt. 16
26 Ex. 14,15 26 Matt. 17
27 Ex. 16,17,18 27 Matt. 18:1-20
28 Ex. 19,20 28 Matt. 18:21-35
29 Ex. 21,22 29 Matt. 19
30 Ex. 23,24 30 Matt. 20:1-16
31 Ex. 25,26 31 Matt. 20:17-34

PRAYER CONCERNS

Fay Crosby was dismissed from Unity Health on Thursday of last week but had to be readmitted the next day. She is in room 223.

Fay's sister, Nora Cole, was in ICU at Baptist Medical Hospital in extremely critical condition at publication time.

James Childers was admitted to Unity Health after having a mini stroke. He is in room 204A.

Alice Rice was admitted to Unity Health Center on Friday. She is in room 316.

Melrose (Finley) Kotts was admitted to Unity on Monday after experiencing a stroke. She is in room 316.

Carol Mahnke came through her surgery well last week and was in worship this past Sunday.

Kathryn Shields's daughter Wanda Combs has recently learned she has hepatitis. She is scheduled for a liver biopsy on Friday of this week. Kathryn requests your prayers.


Youth News
Bob Stephens

If you are in grades 3-12 and haven't signed up for LTC yet, it's not too late! See me and we can get your name in before the deadline.

We will be having a Dinner and Devo at the home of the Baskin's this Sunday evening. Teens need to bring a bottle of pop and a $5.00 gift for dirty Santa.

Don't forget that on Tuesday, December 27th we will be going to Bricktown for dinner and snow tubing. The cost for snow tubing is $8.50 and you'll need some dinner moo-la.

December 28th is the deadline for our retreat to Burnt Cabin. The cost is $20 a head. The retreat will be from Saturday, Dec. 31st - Monday, Jan. 2nd.

If you have any questions regarding any of these events coming up, just ask!


COMING YOUTH EVENTS

Dec. 18, Sunday - Dinner & Devo @ Baskin's - Christmas party

Dec. 27, Tuesday - Bricktown - Snow Tubing

Dec. 31 - Jan. 2, Youth/Family Retreat at Burnt Cabin


LOOKING AHEAD

December 18, Dwyane Dennis's Sunday morning Bible class party , 7 p.m.

December 21 & 28, Ladies class doesn't meet

December 25, Monty Pettyjohn preaches a.m. worship; Ron Taffe preaches p.m.

December 28, No classes at mid-week service; devotional in auditorium

January 4, Ladies class resumes

January 22, SPIRITUAL RENEWAL "Transforming the Mind" with Bob Perry.

January 22 - 25, 56th Annual Lectureship at OC, "Progress & Joy in Christ - God's Power for Living in Philippians;" Keynote Speakers: Harold Hazelip, Howard Norton, Jerry Jones, Harold Redd, Eddie Sharp.




"When we yield to discouragement it is usually because
we give too much thought to the past and to the future. "
Anonymous -- 8^{)


LAST WEEK'S RECORD

Bible School 113
Worship Service 202
Sunday Evening 125
Wednesday Evening 118
Contribution $4,375.66

SERVING THE CONGREGATION

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Announcements:Ron Taffe
Opening Prayer:Steve Kelly
Song Director:Adam Beard
Scripture:Nathan Kelly
Sermon:Robert Prater
Closing Prayer:Joe Curtis

SERVING AT THE LORD'S TABLE

NORTHSOUTH
Tim Norton Bill Lawerance
John Aylor Brian Nipper

AT THE BACK OF AUDITORIUM

Andy StephensMatt Stephens

USHERS

Bob PerryHerman Guin

GREETERS

Foyer:Bob & Louise Perry
Elevator:Herman & Ruth Guin

NURSERY ATTENDANTS

Cathy PettyjohnBarbara Vanlandingham

ASSISTING OUTSIDE ELEVATOR DOOR

Terry Banta

EVENING WORSHIP SERVICE

Opening Prayer:Bob Seikel
Song Director:Nathan Kelly
Scripture:Austin Beard
Sermon:Robert Prater
Closing Prayer:Clavin Norwood

AT THE LORD'S TABLE

SERVING AT THE LORD'S TABLE

NORTHSOUTH
Buddy TruesdellTracy Gettle

WEDNESDAY NIGHT SERVICE

Classes for all ages

Song Leader:Steve Kelly
Scripture:Wade Baskin

VAN DRIVER

Howard Vanlandingham
If unable to serve this week, notify Frank Romberg - 273-1297


Central church of Christ ~ Tenth & Bell ~ Shawnee, OK 74801 ~ (405)273-3065
Contact us at tenthandbell@shawneecentralcofc.org
Send website questions and comments to
webmaster@shawneecentralcofc.org
Copyright © 2003 Central church of Christ