Christmas is a celebration

Published 2:26 pm Tuesday, December 20, 2022

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Local pastors share Christmas meaning

Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus, local pastors said.

This Sun., Dec. 25, many around the globe will be waking early for the celebration, and will gather around Christmas trees to open presents.

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First United Methodist Church Atmore Pastor Andy Gartman said Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus.

“And I believe it’s the celebration of his birth that prompts people to give to others during this holy season,” Gartman said. “When we reflect on what a precious gift God gave the world via the incarnation, Emmanuel, God with us, it inspires us to give as a way of expressing our profound gratitude to God for the incredible gift of Jesus.”

First Baptist Church of Atmore Pastor Dr. Kevin Garrett said Christmas is time of celebration from the penalty, power and eventually in heaven, the presence of sin.

“The very name, ‘Jesus’ means ‘God is salvation,’” Garrett said. “Jesus’ arrival on earth fulfills the longing mankind has to be saved from the curse brought about by sin, mankind’s rebellion against a holy God. Emmanuel, referencing Jesus, means ‘God with us.’ God chose to come to earth to provide deliverance for us. This is why we celebrate.”

Gartman added that helping others at Christmas is one of the ways we say thank you to God for making reconciliation possible between God and humans possible.

Garrett noted the third verse of “Joy to the World,” which expresses the celebration well.

No more let sins and sorrows grow

nor thorns infest the ground;

he comes to make his blessings flow

far as the curse is found,

far as the curs is found,

far as, far as the curse is found.

“Because of this, we are inspired to celebrate by doing good for others in ways that are giving, loving and kind, as God has done for us,” Garrett said. “We should be blessings to others. We can never equate God’s love and benevolence, but we can imitate it in small ways as we spread the love of Jesus at Christmas.”

This week, FUMC will be offering a come-and-go, come-as-you-are service of Holy Communion on Christmas Eve from 4-6 p.m. Then, on Christmas Day, the church will hold a Lessons and Carol service at 10:30 a.m., Gartman said.

FBC will hold a Carols and Communion service on Christmas Day from 10 a.m. until 10:45 a.m. Casual dress, and all are encouraged to come as you are.

St. Anna’s Episcopal Church will be holding a Christmas Eve service with the Rev. Michael Hill at 5:30 p.m.