CHRISTMAS

From the Editor Nov/Dec 2018

When my younger daughter was about 12, she took figure skating lessons. She got pretty good, too. Since we were always at the rink about two hours, I’d bring work with me. One day a girl who sometimes skated with my daughter sat down beside me…

O Jewish Town of Bethlehem

This Christmas season, as we gather in our churches to worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and sing the carols of Christmas, we no doubt will sing “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” one of the most beloved hymns of all time…

A Night in the Fields

Birth announcements are exciting. Parents share the news first with family, then with close friends, and later with the community. In the first century, however, it was unthinkable to send birth announcements to the poor and to those who held lower-class occupations, like shepherds…

The Incredible Incarnation

I have some Christian friends who do not celebrate Christmas. They object to the many pagan traditions that have crept into the holiday and argue that Jesus was not even born on December 25. I don’t disagree. They are quite correct…

Our Wonderful God of Christmas

For more than 50 years, Charles M. Schulz’s animated classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas, has touched millions of television viewers. In it, Charlie complains, “I think there must be something wrong with me, Linus. Christmas is coming, but I’m not happy…

The Tyrant Who Tried to Kill Jesus

King Herod was a complex man. He was a brilliant builder and politician, yet a ruthless and brutal tyrant. He makes a brief appearance in Scripture as the cold-blooded killer of baby boys in Bethlehem and surrounding areas…

Divine Affirmation

“Who were those people? What just happened?” Mary and Joseph may have asked themselves these questions following their brief encounter with Simeon and Anna at the Temple in Jerusalem. They had gone there to…

The Men from the East

The story of the wise men, or magi, is one of the most interesting and captivating accounts recorded in the Bible. Countless Christmas cards, carols, and plays present the story of their journey to see Jesus, the one “born King of the Jews” (Mt. 2:2)…

From the Editor Nov/Dec 2017

Every December, my husband and I try to go to Disney World for a few days to attend the Candlelight Processional at the America Gardens Theater in Epcot. Tom likes Disney World because he says it’s the only place where he…

The Woman God Chose

While waiting to check out at the grocery store recently, a publication caught my eye. It was a reissue of LIFE magazine on Mary, the mother of Jesus. I began to peruse it, more out of curiosity than interest, until I read…

A Christmas Message

More than 19 centuries have passed since the memorable night when an angel of the Lord brought the heavenly message to the shepherds tending their sheep upon the hills of Judea.

Christmas Bedlam

For many of us, Christmas is far from the “silent night” and “peace on earth” we sing about. Copious community events, school concerts, and church programs fill the season.

Didn’t Know Who You Were

The wonderful Christmas season will soon be here. It’s a time to celebrate the divinely supernatural, when God did something for humanity that is so spectacular it has to be experienced personally to be understood.

Apples of Gold Nov/Dec 2016

It is now the time of year when Christians celebrate the Lord’s birth and sing, “Joy to the world! The Lord is come.” In Israel, people are celebrating the feast of Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights…

From the Editor Nov/Dec 2015

Christmastime is my favorite time of year. Perhaps it’s because I never celebrated Christmas when I was growing up. I was probably 10 before I even learned Jesus was Jewish.

When the Time Was Right

The Hebrew Scriptures provide inklings of God’s special preparations for His Son. Abraham and his descendants were to live in a specifi c place, the “Promised Land” (Gen. 12:1).

Beyond the Manger

Even at this time of year, when we celebrate Jesus’ birth, most people don’t know who Jesus is. The Bible has much to say about the One who was born in a manger in Bethlehem.

No Room at the Kataluma

When it comes to the account of Jesus’ birth, it seems like the villain was the poor innkeeper. After all, he was the one who turned Mary and Joseph away…

Waiting for His Shout

It is not difficult to picture the scene Jesus’ disciples witnessed when the resurrected Lord ascended from the surface of the earth, rising higher and higher. Their squinting gaze no doubt focused…

From the Editor Nov/Dec 2014

I don’t often read fiction (unless it masquerades as news about Israel). But when Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code came out in 2003, I decided to pick up a copy and see what all…

Meet Me at the Manger

Nestled in the terraced Shepherds’ Fields on the approach to Bethlehem is a cave. I expect it is merely one of many where shepherds and townsfolk of bygone days found…

The True, Historical Jesus

Bertrand Russell was a 20th-century British philosopher and logician who rejected the idea of absolute truth. In his famous 1927 essay “Why I Am Not a Christian,” Russell wrote…

More Than a Prophet

Many people believe Jesus was a good man and a prophet. Some will even admit He was the Son of God who came to Earth. But tell them Jesus was God Himself who appeared…

The Divine Shepherd of Israel

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, He entered a world that was bursting with anticipation. Some of the Jewish people were longing for God’s divine manifestation, as in the days of…

A Reason for Living

Christmastime is the season of love, friends, and family. A time to host large gatherings and hope your favorite gravy boat doesn’t end up a casualty. Or a time to go to the store…

When God Steps In

A rapidly rising tide of aggression is aimed at Israel, and the West seems impotent to stem it. But there is One who is omnipotent, and He has made promises He intends to keep.

A Savior Who Is Christ the Lord

A few miles from the hubbub of Bethlehem, you can visit a spot where the message of Christmas remains pure and undiluted. Relax, and let this wonderful article take you there!

When God Broke the Silence

Sometimes silence is a welcome friend. Sometimes it can be deafening because of what it conveys, such as disapproval. With the final verse of the book of Malachi, the Hebrew…

Is There a Way Back?

The story of the Gospels is the wonderful news of what Jesus did for us. But the anti-Christ forces in America are power- ful. There is an antidote, and it’s the same one God prescribed for ancient Israel.

A Christmas Blessing

There is no greater declaration of love than “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son” (Jn. 3:16). Each year as December unfolds, our world is caught up…

Hope We Can Believe In

Are you worried about the future? Politicians tell us “change” is what we need. But God knows what we need, and He delivered it around 2,000 years ago.

The Greatest Mystery of All

Consciousness, black holes, “rare antimatter.” These are considered some of the world’s greatest mysteries. But one mystery surpasses them all.

What Christmas Is Really About

More and more people today fail to understand the meaning of Christmas. It isn’t about presents, cards, carols, warm family gatherings, or lots of good food. Christmas is about the Incarnation…

Warm, Fuzzy Angels?

Hollywood director Frank Capra created a Christmas-movie classic with his 1946 release of It’s a Wonderful Life. Who hasn’t sympathized with George Bailey’s incredulity as a novice angel guides him through a supernatural…

The Birth that Changed the World

Hymns, tinsel, decorations, and good cheer used to flood America’s public schools at Christmastime. Though these have all disappeared, one thing will never be erased.

Joseph of Nazareth

He was a carpenter with no aspirations to greatness. Yet he became great. This excellent article takes a deeper look at Joseph and the qualities that made him a man of God.

A Stranger in the Night

What better time of year than Christmas to relate a true story I heard on the radio in 1995. If you do not believe in angels, I strongly suggest you reconsider…

Erica’s Angels

It was bizarre to see myself lying on the floor of my allergist’s office. I lay at a slight angle in the narrow hallway, flanked on all sides by the clinic…

The 12 Rules of Christmas®

Unfortunately, Christmas has become a time of controversy over what can and cannot be done in terms of celebrating the holiday. To clear up much of the misunderstanding, the following…

Merry Christmas 2008

Gone are the days of Studebakers, five- and-dimes, and the much-anticipated gifts of sweet, juicy oranges stuffed into Christmas stockings. But two important facets of the holiday will remain forever.

The Herald Cometh

Most people are familiar with Luke 2 as the beginning of the Christmas story. But the wondrous account actually begins earlier, with an elderly priest who enters the Temple to burn incense.

For Unto You

In Jesus’ day, herdsmen were held in low esteem. Their honesty and integrity were often questioned, and apparently they could not always observe the rituals or keep the ceremonial laws.

The Message and the Maiden

A backwater town called Nazareth. A common Jewish girl called Mary. An angelic messenger called Gabriel. And a promise of God. These all converged to change history for all time in something called the Incarnation.

Is Anything Too Hard for the Lord?

So you don’t believe a virgin can bear a child? You’re not alone. But you should believe it, particularly if you’re Jewish. Read this article and learn why.

In the Fullness of Time

Many secular people mistakenly believe that, except for the story of Jesus in the Gospels, there is no historical record of the man Jesus Christ. This is not true. Jewish sources…

Behold the Lamb

The great theologian Lewis Sperry Chafer wrote, “There is no point in human history where the divine sovereignty and human responsibility, or free will, come into more vivid juxtaposition than they do in the crucifixion…

Matthew 1: Certificate of Authenticity

For 132 years the Westminster Kennel Club (WKC) Dog Show has been held in New York City. Broadcast on cable television from Madison Square Garden, this fierce competition is considered one of the most prestigious…

No Other Name

As Christmas approaches, many people concentrate on gifts and decorations and enjoying the season. Fewer think about who Jesus is and what it meant for Him to come to Earth. But without the Incarnation…

A Star in the Heavens

The Magi were an old, powerful priestly caste that practiced astronomy as well as astrology. Naturally, they would have been familiar with the writings of Balaam the Mesopotamian (Dt. 23:4).

Zvi Nov/Dec 2008

We are approaching the great holiday of Christmas. At this time of year, people do not forget me. In fact, some of the ultra-Orthodox men to whom I have spoken about the Lord…

Israel’s True Tikvah

They looked for Him throughout all their agonies and heartaches, through centuries of oppression and persecution. The Hebrew Scriptures clearly told of His coming. So what happened?

Tidings of Comfort and Joy

At this Christmas season, do you have joy? True joy comes from something you might not associate with it. But once found, it lasts forever.

The Treasures of the Season

Tis the season when our forefathers bowed their heads and gave thanks. Oh how things have changed.

The Carols of Christmas

Many of us love the strains of the old, familiar songs of Christmas. And you may love them even more after you learn the fascinating stories behind them.

What Christmas is All About

Is there anyone who can tell me what is Christmas all about?” asks a beloved cartoon character. His friend quickly recites from Luke’s Gospel: “For there is born to you this day in the city…

What’s So Special About Christmas?

When it comes to the holidays, and I’m asked to name a favorite, it’s not difficult. Thanksgiving is the day. It’s a time when the air is crisp and clear…

O Jewish Town of Bethlehem

This time of year these are the thoughts most often associated with the birth of the Lord Jesus. Pastoral little Bethlehem, in the midst of shepherds and their sheep, peaceful and tranquil before the appearance…

Zvi Nov/Dec 2005

This time of year Christians think about the birth of the Messiah. We know what the Bible teaches, and we understand who He is. But in Israel there is great confusion about the Messiah.

The Greatest Gift

Tis the season to fight your way through crowded malls, spend every dime you have, and max out your credit cards try­ing to buy gifts for those you love…

The Messiah’s Birth

On November 19, 1997, something extraordinary happened. Bobbi McCaughey of Carlisle, Iowa, gave birth to seven healthy babies. With the news of the successful septuple deliveries, the world seemed to pause and reflect in…

The Messiah’s Reign

In this well-known carol, “Joy to the World,” Isaac Watts expressed the thrill of the Messiah’s birth by describing events that just don’t seem to exist. I still weed garden beds and prick myself on thorns. The curse has not been lifted. The nations of…

Who Killed Jesus?

Picture this: A Jewish family spending quality time decorating a Christmas tree. Does this sound odd to you? When I was 17, I was invited to a Christmas tree decorating party at the home of a Jewish acquaintance. Confusion would best describe my initial reaction…

Zvi Dec/Jan 1998/1999

This year, as every year, the people of Israel are facing with fear and misunderstanding the time when Christians celebrate the birth of our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. Some acquaintances approached me the other day and said…