Merry Christmas 07

Discover, Reflect on and Celebrate Jesus in 2008.

And that is how it is this Christmas. Somehow Christmas is different this year. Perhaps it changed when I became older? But I think it is more than that. A person continues through this life day by day, and suddenly a new page is turned that is unexpected. O’Henry wrote surprise endings to his stories, and God, the One who gives us life, also controls our lives, whether we are aware of it or not, writes the twists and turns of life for us. Achievements, promotions and advancements in this life tend to puff us up into the ‘pat-me-on-the-back’ mode.

When things go wrong, we ask, “What are you trying to teach me, Lord?” Yet, when things go right, we wear out our patting-arm, with no thought of the blessings from God.

Counting blessings takes practice, hones our observation skills and our faith in God. A blessing isn’t a gigantic win from Publisher’s Sweepstakes, but the little things. I remember the astonishment of watching my Mother whip out a finished dress from the sewing machine praising God. I asked why, since I had watched her complete articles of clothing all my life. Her reply stopped me in my tracks – “The spool of thread came out ‘even’ when I finished the dress!” Small? Indeed. Yet her delight in finding another rose blooming, a ripe persimmon, a colorful sunset from the back porch window and a myriad other little blessings. One of her favorite verses, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your Heart.” Psalm 37:4

Mother once said, “I don’t know why God spoils me so much, just like a little child.”

I knew why, because Mom was as a little child before God. Her faith and trust amazed me.
And He said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:3.

Why do I remember these things now? Because of the blessings I have of family, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ this Christmas. Yes, Jack talked last night during the Christmas Eve Candlelight/Communion Service about Discovering, Reflecting on Christ, and Celebrating Jesus. When one least expects it, we discover Jesus anew and it causes us to reflect on His love everlasting. It follows that we celebrate each day of 2008 that Jesus was born so long ago to bring us the joy of being His unendingly.

On the 23rd of December, I played Silent Night as I have done for more than 60 years. I could hear Mom’s voice as she taught me to play the piano, admonishing me to practice. I remember how she taught me the obligato counter melody to Silent Night. Those two gifts combined to bring a gift that can only come from Jesus.

As tears formed in my eyes, and my lips trembled; I had the sense that Mom and I played the grand old Christmas hymn together. My arms became her arms, my fingers became her fingers gliding on the keyboard. I didn’t want the song to end. Yet I know that the song of Christmas will never end.

Thank you, Jesus, for being my Lord and Savior. Thank you for the hope of life everlasting. Thank you for the blessings that come from you – the little things that remind me that I am but a traveler in this world. My real home is with Jesus Christ!

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