Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas Reflections

I thought I might share a few Christmas reflections in the coming days, recycling some articles from previous years that I've written for our church's monthly senior adult newsletter entitled "Joyful Tidings."  That seems like a pretty fitting name for Christmas news if we think about the angels' message to the shepherds.  I haven't shared these on this blog, so hopefully they will spark some interest.  This first piece dates way back to 2005.

I was reading recently in the Word and Way a devotional thought by Rudy Pulido, a pastor in the St. Louis area, about a memorable Christmas when he received a bicycle as a gift. It stirred my memories to a Christmas long ago when I too received my first bicycle, a Schwinn. My family was living on my grandparents’ ranch in South Texas at the time, and the mailbox was located almost three miles away over a dirt road. While my granddad usually drove up to the mailbox each day in his pickup to get the day’s mail, on occasion I would volunteer to ride my bike there and bring the mail back. That was quite an adventure for a second grader.

What was your favorite or most treasured Christmas gift as a child? For many of our senior adults, your childhood years were spent in the Great Depression and undoubtedly gifts were scarce at times. Perhaps your parents wanted to give you what you were most hoping to receive at Christmas, but the funds simply weren’t there to do so.

At this season of the year we celebrate the fact that God gave us the most valuable and costly gift that any of us could ever receive—the gift of eternal life through the entrance of Jesus into this world. God sent His Son, and Jesus willingly came, knowing that it would ultimately cost Him His very life to bring us salvation and forgiveness. In the midst of giving and receiving gifts, let’s remember and say thanks to God for His indescribable gift of love, born in a humble manger.

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