Because this child was born 2000 years ago ... and for absolutely NO other reason than His birth, the streets of my suburb, city and nation look like this:
Only because this child was born 2000 years ago, do people light up their homes and gardens. They may not believe in Him or worship Him ... but they only put up lights because He was born: This child cannot be ignored
Euston station will be turned into a banqueting hall for 200 homeless people invited to a Christmas Day feast. When the last train leaves the London terminus at 9.37pm tomorrow volunteers will prepare the concourse, ready to serve a four-course meal. Goody bags, warm clothes and toiletries will be handed out and live music performed.
The meal is the idea of staff at Network Rail, who have worked with the St Mungo’s charity and Streets Kitchen, which feed the homeless.
Hundreds of mince pies and crackers have been donated and up to 30 turkeys will be prepared in a nearby school and ferried to the station in a fleet of cars and vans.
Steve Naybour, head of transformation at Network Rail, said: “Our teams will be getting banqueting tables and chairs on to the concourse.” He added that more than 45 companies and groups had donated food, goods or furniture to the event, which will not be a cost to the taxpayer.
“I’ve been blown away with the public reaction and local and national companies coming forward to offer us items such as thermal clothes, hats, gloves, socks, toothpaste, deodorant, earplugs and wipes,” Mr Naybour said.
Guests will arrive at 11am to be greeted with a mince pie and hot or soft drink at the alcohol-free event and then enjoy a lunch of smoked salmon, followed by soup, a roast dinner and Christmas pudding.
The event will end at 3pm, after which volunteers will ensure that Euston is ready to receive commuters again on the day after Boxing Day.
“Network Rail contacted us a few months ago and we jumped at the chance,” Jon Glackin, of Streets Kitchen, said. “It’s a good example of using an empty building productively. Just for a few hours the homeless can have some good food, good music and some respite, as we know it’s tough out there on the streets.”
Read the full story here: Brussels sprouts
If Christmas is just western opium, according to the 21st century communists, why is Christmas in China indistinguishable from festivities held in the West? China officials lament that young people are “blindly following” foreign holidays and urged them to take pride in Chinese traditions.
Yet Christmas is being embraced in China like never before. In the same story we read that the rapid rise of Christianity in China has been particularly alarming to the ruling party, which has found that it now must compete with Jesus for the hearts and minds of its citizens.
Why: only because this child was born 2000 years ago and .... This child cannot be ignored.
Some in China’s ruling Communist Party have called for a boycott of the festive season, arguing that local customs and traditions should be honoured rather than what many consider to be a foreign holiday.
In the southern city of Hengyang, the local party branch issued a reminder that no party members or their immediate family should take part in “any religious activity from the West”. The atheist party holds a militant view on religion and demands absolute loyalty. The memo says that Christmas equates to “mental opium” from the West.
The party’s youth arm at Shandong University has asked students to boycott Christmas, which it says has been brought to China “by sophisticated means by the West” and “caused a serious blow to traditional cultures”.
At another university in northeast Technological advances have given younger people an insight into how the festival is celebrated elsewhere, and businesses keen to exploit consumers are selling goods with particular zeal. Retailers, including all big online websites, advertise holiday sales. Shopping centres and offices have put up Christmas trees and decorated them with fairy lights.
Chinese are also developing their own traditions: toffee apples have become a way to celebrate the holiday because apples and the holy night share a homonym in the Chinese language.
Despite this, calls to boycott Christmas are on the rise. In 2014 Northwest University in the city of Xi’an rounded up its students on Christmas Eve to view propaganda films about the Chinese sage Confucius. Teaching staff guarded the doors and threatened to punish those who celebrated the “foreign” holiday.
The ruling party is wary about any erosion of its grip on Chinese society. When the country opened its doors to foreign investment and overseas travellers in the 1980s, Beijing warned its people to resist any bourgeois habits and cautioned that the West was seeking to overturn the Chinese government through the “sugarcoated bullets” of cultural invasion.
The rapid rise of Christianity in China has been particularly alarming to the ruling party, which has found that it now must compete with Jesus for the hearts and minds of its citizens. Culture purists argue that Chinese people should celebrate local holidays and should be banned from marking foreign ones.
Some ardently disagree. “If Confucianists want others to respect their holidays, then they must stop denouncing non-native festivals and ensure that their own hold universal appeal,” a professor of Chinese history and philosophy at Qufu Normal University, which is in the birthplace of Confucius, said.
Others sneer and say that Marxism, the seven-day week and the Gregorian calendar are all foreign imports.
Why do we find a "seasonally dressed" Palestinian throwing stones at Israeli security forces in the West Bank? Do I need to say it: only because this child was born 2000 years ago and .... This child cannot be ignored
Why is the High Street braced for £1.4 bn Christmas splurge on the last shopping day before Christmas? Do I need to say it: only because this child was born 2000 years ago and .... This child cannot be ignored
We who are called by His name are called to be salt and light in the world ... shining in, and flavouring the world around us with the Kingdom life of the one who is our King.
May we who are called by His name stop ignoring the One who cannot be ignored ... then it will truly be a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year for all.