Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Happy birthday, Jesus!  Today is the day we celebrate Christ's birth!  Not that we believe He was born on this date, but rather we choose this day to celebrate His coming as a babe in order to grow to be a man Who would die on the cross to pay for the sins of the entire world.  Isn't Christmas wonderful?  A special time each year to remember that most wondrous event when the God-child was born and angels filled the heavens to sing praises to God on high for His incredible gift to man.  Wouldn't you have loved to have been a shepherd that night in the field?  Or the innkeeper wondering what on earth was causing that bright light that set the stable out back aglow?  Or, even better, one of the wise men who nearly came unglued when you realized that the sign you had been looking for for years had just appeared in the sky?

Even more amazing is the knowledge that Christ Jesus did all this......fulfilled prophecy, came to earth as a baby instead of a full-grown man, died on Golgotha.......for me.  He came for me.  If I had been the only sinner on earth, if everyone else had been perfect, Jesus would still have done it all---for me.  Thank You so much, Lord Jesus, for coming to earth that night so long ago.  Thank You for growing up as any child would and yielding Your will each day to Your earthly parents so that we might learn from and follow Your example.  Thank You for choosing to die such an awful death because You knew it had to be done and You were the only One Who could carry it through.  Thank You for being born, living, and dying for sinful mankind so that we might have the choice to live in Heaven with You one day.

How does your family celebrate Christmas?  When I was seven, my family started the tradition of opening our gifts on Christmas Eve for two reasons:  1) Christmas was on a Sunday that year, and my pastor urged folks to open their gifts the night before so that there would be no excuses for staying home from church the next morning, and 2) my mom was due to give birth at any moment.  My parents chose to open gifts Christmas Eve to avoid any disappointment from us kids if Mom and Dad wound up in the hospital Christmas Day.  As it turns out, this was a good idea---my sister made her appearance early Christmas morning!  Each year after, our family opened gifts on Christmas Eve and had a birthday cake for Kathy and Jesus on December 25th.  So, when my husband and I got married, we decided to open gifts Christmas Eve and celebrate Jesus' birthday on Christmas Day.  We still do that now with our kids, except Christmas morning has morphed into "Stocking Opening and Treasure Hunt Time."  We have my mom to blame thank for that!  The kids really enjoy opening gifts the night before Christmas while knowing they will get even more stuff the next morning.  I think we overdid it this year; Chad and I each buy stuff for the children and sort through it all in the weeks before Christmas to see what we have stored up for whom.  We wound up having to stuff two stockings for each child since there was no way to fit all their junk into just one stocking!  It was a lot of fun!  The only sad part is that we're missing Amanda this year; she opted to stay at college for the holidays and work ahead on next semester's school bill.  I know the college and church there will have special events planned and gifts for the college students who don't get to go home, but I also know that nothing will replace time with your family.  Mandie, we love you and wish you a very Merry Christmas in Santa Clara!

I hope your holiday has been just as wonderful as ours.  We're looking forward to tonight's Christmas service, too---what a great way to spend God's house!  Merry Christmas to all!  In the words of Tiny Tim, "God bless us, every one!"

Luke 2: 11  "For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord."

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