Christmas is a holiday, indeed the world’s most joyous holiday. It is
called a “holiday” because the day is holy. It is a day when
businesses close, when families gather, when churches are filled, and
when soldiers put down their guns for a 24-hour truce. It is a day that
differs from every other day.
Every generation has its abundance of Scrooges. The church is full of
them. We hear endless complaints of commercialism. We are constantly
told to put Christ back into Christmas. We hear that the tradition of
Santa Claus is a sacrilege. We listen to those acquainted with history
murmur that Christmas isn’t biblical. The Church invented Christmas to compete with the ancient Roman festival honoring the bull-god Mithras, the nay-sayers complain. Christmas? A mere capitulation to paganism.
Celebrating a Calvinist Christmas with a Clear Conscience
‘Tis the season to be informed–sometimes in gentleness, often with vigor–by a variety of Christians (and others )
claiming that it is wrong to celebrate Christmas. I have no desire to
force anyone to celebrate Christmas against their will. Indeed, it would
be insulting to the high holiday to pretend that it needs enforcement.
It offers to Christians an opportunity for praise and thanksgiving for
Christ’s incarnation, good music, family fellowship, the giving and
receiving of gifts, and a great many other blessings. What more could
anyone want? Taste and see that the Lord is good! (This doesn’t
necessarily apply to the fruitcake, but you can participate in the
thanksgiving without that!) If anyone, for reasons of conscience, wishes
to abstain from the festivities, that is his or her right. But I am not
willing to let go unanswered the all-too-common assertion that
celebrating Christmas at home or in Church is somehow sinful and
Badminton Rules: Doubles – what’s in and what’s out?
During the main part of a badminton doubles rally, every part of the court is in.
However, the serve must fall into the ‘short and fat’ area
diagonally opposite the server. The side tramlines are in, but the rear
tramlines are out during the serve.
This means that a singles player and a doubles player have similar
amount of court to cover when receiving serve (the service area in
singles is 24.4m2, while in doubles it is 24.2m2).
The short and wide doubles service area makes it harder to catch an
opponent out with a flick serve, therefore allowing the service receiver
to stand further forward and attack the short serves as aggressively as
possible. Which makes doubles rallies fast and aggressive right from the first stroke – one reason why badminton doubles is so exciting, whether you’re watching or playing!