December 17, 2018
Nativity of the Lord. . . Why We Celebrate Christmas
Since at least the fourth century in Rome, Christians have celebrated the incarnation and nativity of Jesus Christ on December 25. There is more than one theory about the origin of this festival day. Some have suggested that it was established to replace the Roman feast of Natalis Solis Invicti (the “birthday of the unconquered sun”). Others believe that Jesus was conceived on March 25 (coinciding with the date of his crucifixion, as recorded by some witnesses in the early church); December 25 is exactly nine months later.

Regardless, the time between December 25 and January 6 (Epiphany) has become an occasion for the church to celebrate and give thanks for the arrival of God’s Word made flesh — the light of God that has come into the world, the light that even death could not extinguish.

The Word Became Flesh

An excerpt from the Companion to the Book of Common Worship (Geneva Press, 2003, 92-93) What is “Christmas”? It is three words: God in flesh; or four syllables: in-car-na-tion. The Gospel according to John (1:14) tells us, “The Word became flesh and lived among us, … full of grace and truth.” Christmas proclaims that God has come in flesh, has come “to save us all from Satan’s power.” Christmas celebrates far more than a birthday; Christmas acclaims the advent of messianic salvation. Christ was sent among us in order to save us. What we pay homage to at Christmas, therefore, is that the ultimate fulfillment of God’s saving purpose begins with the birth of Jesus, the messianic Savior. God’s only Son is born among us in order to save the world. This is the message of Christmas.

From the beginning of time, God’s saving purpose has been at work. God has raised up the seed of Abraham, including Moses and Gideon and Samson and John the Baptist. Through all these generations, God has been faithfully at work raising persons to bring us the Davidic Messiah, the messianic King, the Son of the Most High who will ascend the throne of David. Through all of human history, God has been bringing forth Jesus Christ.

Now through the birth of the Savior, God’s purpose will be fulfilled. God has acted to save God’s people. The Christ child is born for the saving of the world.

This article was reprinted from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.) Presbyterian Mission website- retrieved from "

Resources for Christmas Services
(The Presbyterian Mission Agency)



All meetings held at the Presbytery of Baltimore's Office unless a different location is indicated

  • Cuba Partnership will meet at 7pm on Wednesday, Dec. 19 at FPC of Howard Co.
  • The Presbytery of Baltimor's office will be closed Dec. 24 through Dec. 26 in observance of the Christmas Holiday.
View how a couple of our member churches and the Presbytery's office are preparing for advent and celebrating the season. Update our Christmas video for next week's Tidings edition by sending your church's Christmas/Advent pictures to: .

Presbytery & Church-wide

 TAKE NOTE: All 2018 Remittances , Contributions and Check Requests must be received by the Presbytery's Finance Office by Friday, Jan. 11, 2019.
Per Capita: $35.73

Synod/Mid-Atlantic.........................$ .85
General Assembly............................$ 8.95

Thinking of donating to the church during this season of giving? Think about giving stock instead of cash. . .
This Christmas , it is our prayer that we will share the life-giving message of Jesus with more people than any other time in our history. Might this be a good season to consider being more generous to your church? Gifts of long-term capital assets, such as publicly traded stock, may receive a double federal tax benefit. Click here to learn more . . .
Join members of Maryland Presbyterian Church for a special Blue Christmas service of worship designed to seek hope and light during the Advent season. Rev. Beth Scibienski, pastor of Grace Presbyterian Church in central New Jersey, will lead us in worship. Blue Christmas

The Spire Series
Christmas Candlelight Choral Concert

The First & Franklin Sanctuary Choir , joined by guest musicians, presents the 18th Annual Candlelight Choral Concert , a treasured part of the Christmas season. The concert will be held a 4pm Sunday, Dec. 16 and features Ottorino Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity and works by Britten, Alice Parker, Reger, Tschesnokoff and David Conte. A freewill offering will be collected. Spire Series
Theme: "Justice for All"
Date: January 19, 2019              
Time: 3pm
Place: Hunting Ridge Presbyterian Church

For Elementary, Middle and High Schoolers:
1st Prize $100; 2nd Prize $50; 3rd Prize $25

Granite Presbyterian Church to Host Spring Bus Trip to "Jesus" Sight and Sound Production

Granite Presbyterian Church will host a trip on April 3 to Sight and Sound Theater in Lancaster, PA to see a production of "Jesus". The trip is limited to 56 people, first-come; first-served. Children are welcomed. Click here to learn more about tickets to this event.

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