by StaffChristians celebrate the birth of Jesus to the Virgin Mary as a fulfillment of the Old Testament's Messianic prophecy. There are two differing accounts which describe the events surrounding Jesus' birth. These biblical accounts are found in the Gospel of Matthew, namely Matthew 1:18, and the Gospel of Luke, specifically Luke 1:26 and 2:40. According to these accounts, Jesus was born to Mary, assisted by her husband Joseph, in the city of Bethlehem.
According to popular tradition, the birth took place in a stable, surrounded by farm animals, though neither the stable nor the animals are specifically mentioned in the Biblical accounts. However, a manger is mentioned in Luke 2:7, where it states, "She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn." Early iconographic representations of the nativity placed the animals and manger within a cave (located, according to tradition, under the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem). Shepherds from the fields surrounding Bethlehem were told of the birth by an angel, and were the first to see the child. The Gospel of Matthew also describes a visit by several Magi, or astrologers, who bring gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the infant Jesus. The visitors were said to be following a mysterious star, commonly known as the Star of Bethlehem, believing it to announce the birth of a king of the Jews. The commemoration of this visit, the Feast of Epiphany celebrated on January 6, is the formal end of the Christmas season in some churches.
Christians celebrate Christmas in many ways. In addition to this day being one of the most important and popular for the attendance of church services, there are numerous other devotions and popular traditions. In some Christian denominations, children perform plays re-telling the events of the Nativity, or sing carols that reference the event. Some Christians also display a small re-creation of the Nativity, known as a Nativity scene or crib, in their homes, using figurines to portray the key characters of the event. Live Nativity scenes and tableaux vivants are also performed, using actors and animals to portray the event with more realism. Prior to Christmas Day, the Eastern Orthodox Church practises the 40-day Nativity Fast in anticipation of the birth of Jesus, while much of Western Christianity celebrates four weeks of Advent. The final preparations for Christmas are made on Christmas Eve.
A long artistic tradition has grown of producing painted depictions of the nativity in art. Nativity scenes are traditionally set in a barn or stable and include Mary, Joseph, the child Jesus, angels, shepherds and the Three Wise Men: Balthazar, Melchior, and Caspar, who are said to have followed a star, known as the Star of Bethlehem, and arrived after his birth.
Exalted Ruler's Column
By Order of the Exalted Ruler by Brad Smith
This is an exciting time for our Lodge. The expansion is all but finished. We are using the new expanded area and it is working extremely well. The ritual room is beautiful. The dance floor is great. The expanded deck is now lit with new lights. The parking is close to being finished. Our Official Grand Opening is Saturday, February 8th. 2014. We will have a special meeting with a ritual opening of the new facility, a special dinner and dinner show after. Proceeds will go towards the mortgage. Sunday, the 9th, we will be open to the general public from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. (the bar will be closed during that time). Please mark your calendars and plan on attending this very important event.
The House Committee has recommended the following be made a house rule. This is a non-smoking facility. Smoking is prohibited within 20 feet of any entrance, weather open or closed, and within any structure, weather occupied or not. Electronic devices designed to simulate smoking are also prohibited as if they were a tobacco product. Smoking is allowed outdoors as long it complies with the prohibitions of this rule and municipal laws. This House Rule will be voted on at our next business meeting on December 4, 2013. Any discussion will be heard at that time.
I am holding a Tom and Jerry Party for our members Sunday, December 22, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Please attend and enjoy. If you haven't signed up for our New Years Eve party, please do so by calling Nina at the Lodge.
The Elk's Memorial Service honoring our past members will be Sunday, December 1, at 11 a.m. in the Lodge Room. Please come and show respect to those who will come no more.
Brad Smith, Exalted Ruler