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Thursday, December 24, 2015

Thursday, the FOURTH week of Advent - Christmas Eve


“Twas the night before Christmas

 when all through the house

 not a creature was stirring

 not even a mouse…” *
 

It is pretty clear to me that the author of that poem wrote from a vision of fantasy rather than from reality!  If you are anything like my wife and I, then you would know that the night before Christmas would not find everyone sleeping contentedly “nestled all snug in their beds” with Mama and Papa “settled for a long winter nap…” 
 

Sure the kids may be in the sack, but I can assure you that Mom and Dad are still up and covered in a furry of wrapping paper and scotch tape as they madly rush to wrap all the presents, only to see them torn open a very few hours later!  I can still clearly remember the consternation I felt back in the early 1980’s when I opened up the box of our young son’s gift of a GI Joe jet plane that was marked “some assembly required,” only to find an instruction sheet that when spread open would reach from one end of the room to the other!  I kid you not as there must have been a least a hundred pieces to painstakingly put together!  I think that my wife and I might have gotten about an hour’s sleep that night!

Then there was the doll house we bought for our girls a few years later that when it was finally completely assembled, I think I had just enough time to take a shower before we got the kids up!  But you know… now as I look back… I kind of miss those days!  For there is nothing like seeing the glee in your children’s eyes as they excitedly open up their gifts on Christmas morning!  Christmas this year is quite different with the kids grown, married and with kids of their own spread out across the country.  And while I did find the new tree complete with lights that we bought last year, I was only able to dig out one box of decorations and ornaments from the mountain of boxes from our recent move, that fill up our guest room.  But we still find glee and joy as we imagine the look of our kids and grandkids as they open up their gifts tomorrow morning, wherever they may be!
 

As you read this last installment of this year’s Advent Calendar today, I might suggest that you do so with the idea of experiencing that same joy of giving throughout the coming New Year.  Why not BE THE GIFT to another in need of everlasting life?  You have the ability and the means to be the carrier of the greatest gift any man or women could ask for… the gift of knowing Jesus Christ as personal Savior and Lord.  It is the gift that literally lasts a lifetime!  It is the gift that will cause that similar glee as seen on your children’s eyes on Christmas morning to be permanently etched in the eyes and countenance of those you give it too…
 

 

Be the Gift

 

Wednesday - the fourth week of Advent – Christmas Eve

 

Today’s Reading: Proverbs 22:17, Luke 1:78-79, Acts 2:38, Romans 5:15-16, Romans 6:23, 2 Corinthians 9:15, James 1:17-18

 

As a final consideration to our understanding and celebration of Christmas this year, I would encourage you to look beyond the time set aside for the holiday season and extend your “good will toward men” (Luke 2: 14 KJV) throughout the coming New Year!  When Zechariah prophesized at the birth of his son, he declared that John would tell of the One who would bring “A new day (that) will dawn on us from above because our God is loving and merciful.”  And how “He will give light to those who live in the dark and in death’s shadow.” (Luke 1:78-79 God’s Word ©)
 

As John the Baptist came to prepare the way for the Light to come into the people’s lives, we too can follow in his footsteps.  Or, as we have been talking about in the last couple of posts, we can “Be the Gift” or the bearer of the gift of light and life to those within our circle of influence in our daily lives.  You and I can have the privilege of letting others know that a new day is coming and is available to them!  I can’t think of a better quest for 2016, can you?  Just imagine the lives that can be changed as you and I become the ones to show forth the love and mercy of our loving God to those in need around us.
 

Then at the right time you can experience their joy as they open up the gift of the new life that only Jesus can bring!  So, once again, I would encourage you to make the time this Christmas season and beyond, to tell your world by both precept and example of the “good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.” (Luke 2:10 KJV)
 

May you and yours have the best, blessed and joyous Christmas that you have ever experienced in your life… and as you do, remember to keep asking yourself… “What joyous gift am I expecting to share with others today?”
 
Pastor Jim & Piper  


*Originally Written by Clement Clarke Moore for his family on Christmas Eve in 1822.  First published in the Troy (New York) Sentinel on December 23, 1823.

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