Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Halloween greetings

This is what callers to our home will get if I can get to the printer before they get to our door! (first published on my other blog)

Welcome to our home!
Probably you have visited us to impress us with your costume and see what ‘treats' we are willing to give you. As Christians we always like to be hospitable and really enjoy celebrating ‘good' (like birthdays and Christmas) although we do not celebrate Halloween. In our country, Halloween is far more than a bit of fun - people seem to delight in being as evil as they can (lawlessness, anti-social behaviour, invoking the occult, violent and gruesome images). I am sure you did not intend any offence but we try not to encourage or lend any support to evil - there is quite enough of that about anyway...
The Bible we read every day says:
Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness (Isaiah 5:20)
Our land has become confused about moral standards as the nation has moved further away from its Christian heritage. Many things which would have been considered evil in the past are overlooked today, if not positively encouraged. People want to get on with their own lives without having to worry about their Maker - or their ‘neighbour'. This is the opposite of what God has said is ‘good'. Did you know that Jesus said the greatest commandments are to love God and love your neighbour as yourself? Failing to do this is sin - (not just ‘being a bit naughty') which God is offended at and which actually damages us and eats away at the civilised society we value and depend upon.
God sent his Son Jesus to take the punishment our sin deserves so that we can be saved from Hell to live with God in this life and through eternity. That is something so amazingly good, worth celebrating every day, but we do reserve special days and seasons for different aspects of it: Christmas (Jesus being born), Easter (Jesus dying for our sins), and every Sunday (Jesus rising from the dead) we gather as a church to worship and learn about God together (Tabernacle Cardiff, Heath Citizens Hall). We have a wonderful minister and excellent Sunday School (2.30pm) and you would be very welcome to join us (10:30am and 6pm). You do need to prepare to meet God...
Perhaps we'll see you again soon for Christmas carol singing? Start practicing now!

Hark! The herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King;
Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled!"
Joyful, all ye nations rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;
With th'angelic host proclaim,
"Christ is born in Bethlehem!"

Hark! the herald angels sing,
"Glory to the newborn King!"

Christ, by highest heav'n adored;
Christ the everlasting Lord;
Late in time, behold Him come,
Offspring of a virgin's womb.
Veiled in flesh the Godhead see;
Hail th'incarnate Deity,
Pleased with us in flesh to dwell,
Jesus our Emmanuel.

Hail the heav'nly Prince of Peace!
Hail the Sun of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings,
Ris'n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die.
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.

Come, Desire of nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble home;
Rise, the woman's conqu'ring Seed,
Bruise in us the serpent's head.
Now display Thy saving power,
Ruined nature now restore;
Now in mystic union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.

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