Holding hands and smiling despite the chilly weather, President Barack Obama, his wife, Michelle, and daughters Malia and Sasha, took a walk across the street from the White House to St. John’s Episcopal Church Sunday morning to attend the worship service.
With the first family sitting on a pew, the Rev. Dr. Luis Leon spoke about John the Baptist and discussed Obama in his sermon, according to pool reports.
The pastor told the congregation that the expectations Americans had from Obama could be compared with illusions people had about John the Baptist at the time of Jesus. The religious leaders of the time had great expectations from John the Baptist but he told them he was neither the Messiah nor the prophet, but a voice calling in the wilderness, Leon told the congregation. Even Americans thought Obama would bring an immediate change, the pastor added. more >>
The Congress-appointed celebration of Poinsettia Day has arrived in the U.S. as the countdown to Christmas continues.
The national celebration takes place annually on Dec. 12 in honor of Joel Roberts Poinsett, the botanist, physician, and Minister to Mexico who discovered the plant. In 1828, Poinsett introduced his home town of Charleston, S.C., to the plant with cuttings he had brought back from Mexico.
In July of 2002, Congress decided to pass a resolution honoring the poinsettia as Poinsett, who died Dec. 12, 1851. more >>
A church in Tennessee will hold a “Blue Christmas” service next week for those who may not be looking forward to the usual merriment of the season due to personal losses or stressful life situations.
The Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan in West Knoxville will conduct this special Christmas service on Wednesday, according to the church’s events calendar.
“Not everyone is filled with holiday cheer and not everyone looks forward to the merriment of the Christmas holidays,” a note on the calendar explains. “Sometimes life situations and personal losses can make parties and social gatherings painful for people who are filled with worry and grief.” more >>
Some people feel Christmas just isn’t Christmas without Christ, but apparently not many. If one were to rank the importance of Christ in Christmas based on popular Christmas films, sadly it would rank very low as the top 10 grossing Christmas films reveal.
It may be hard to find a movie depicting the true meaning of Christmas as romance and Santa Claus have dominated the big screens for the past decade.
According to a list of the “10 Highest Grossing Christmas Movies of All-Time,” compiled by Yahoo! News, none of the films has a Christ-centered theme. more >>
Christmas trees have gotten a lot more practical in the state of Michigan, particularly for one multi-campus church in Oakland County.
Skipping out on the usual ornamentation this season, Calvary Evangelical Lutheran Church is opting to decorate their trees with toiletries instead, which they plan to donate to a local outreach center that provides for families in need.
“Our hope is that those who need these items for their day-to-day living and Christmas celebration is fulfilled,” Associate Pastor Ken Fouty told The Christian Post in an email. more >>
Having a less stressful and more joyful holiday season may be as simple as opening the “true gifts” of Christmas found by reading the Bible, suggests a Tennessee pastor.
Church strategy consultant Ron Edmondson, who is a co-founding pastor at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, told The Christian Post that there is not a “secret formula” to finding great joy. It’s really a matter of obeying Scripture.
“It seems to me that many believers, and nonbelievers, get distracted with the busyness of Christmas and miss its true meaning,” he said. “In the season intended to bring ‘Joy to the World’ we spend more energy seeking gratification from gifts that bring us temporary happiness, but often fail to ‘open’ the true gifts of Christ.” more >>