Special Presents/Presence

22 12 2010

I received a Christmas present:  I got to hold the baby Jesus.  Okay, not really; but we had a Christmas cantata and I played the part of a wise man. (Please, no wise-cracks; remember it is Christmas.)  Long haired, gray bearded guys become more in demand this time of year and at Easter for just such roles.  The baby Jesus was really a newborn little cutie named Ella Pearl with lots of dark hair.  My part was to present the gift of myrrh, (what ever that is) then hold the baby and give thanks.  I know it was just a play, but for a moment I was transported back in time to that little town named Bethlehem and while looking into the face of this calm, angelic child, I could just imagine what it must have been like for those weary wanderers who had followed a star; awesome!

 I received a Christmas gift:  I made money!  Before you get the idea I’m a miser, let me go on.  My work has really dropped off lately and finances have been tight.  We’ve been doing alright, but there hasn’t been a lot of extra for things like Christmas gifts.  Cathy and I run a small candle making business; one of those endeavors that you never know how well you’re going to do.  We had the biggest December profit ever, which gave us money to buy presents and for a secret project we do for others this time of season.  Wanna know what it is?  Hey, I just told you, it’s a secret!  But it brings us joy to be able to do it each year; awesome!

I received a Christmas gift:  My children and grandchildren were at the house this week. That’s not unordinary, but I look at this small mob that converges on our home and stop to think; Cathy and I are only children and now we go three generations deep.  My lady and our grand-daughter, Hailey, slipped off to a quiet room for some swaying back and forth in a rocking chair.  Hailey Jo snuggled up close to Grandma and I could tell Cathy was enjoying the warmth in the hugs of this precious child.  I could have stood at the door and watched them for hours; awesome!

I received a Christmas gift: Christmas Eve morn I went out to our local Wal-Mart to pick up some last minute stocking stuffers.  As I turned my cart down an aisle, I heard an excited call, “Santa Claus!!!!”  This time of year I can hold several titles and with my hair hanging down and beard, a little tyke thought she had just hit the jackpot.  Her mother and I smiled cordially at each other but girl’s brother who looked to be five or six stared with saucer size eyes.  I pulled a bag of tangerines out of my cart and said to the children, “Gonna to be busy tonight so I need to get some snacks.”  The girl squealed with delight, but the boy just continued to stare, now with his mouth hanging open.  The wonder, innocence and imagination of a child; awesome!

I received a Christmas gift:  I got a hug from a beautiful lady and no, it wasn’t Cathy.  We have known her for years, but not everything there was to know.  She had endured a lifetime of abuse from a husband who had left her recently, broken and desolate.  We got her to come to church and with the support of others that came along side, we showed her that she is someone important; and she is loved.  She thanked me for what we’ve meant to her as friends and family; awesome!

I received a Christmas gift:  Cathy and I performed at church Christmas Eve.  It’s a tune done by Randy Travis called Labor of Love.  Cathy had sung duets with me and our daughter, but she has always wanted to have one of our sons sing with her.  My lady sang incredibly last night.  I accompanied her on the twelve string guitar, a friend played bass guitar and Jeremy, our oldest son, played six-string and sang harmony with his mother.  I think every person in the auditorium was moved; but not as much as this old man as he listened to two beautiful voices blend together and watched as a wish came true; awesome!

I received a Christmas gift:  phone calls.  My cell phone went off yesterday and a young familiar voice on the other end said, “Merry Christmas, Dad.  I just wanted you and mom to know I was thinking of you; I love you.  And then there was another; and another.  These are kids who in some ways are as close as our own children who have graced our lives at different moments in time and still were reaching out and blessing us; awesome!

I received a Christmas gift; it came two thousands years ago and was foretold seven hundred years prior to that.  A child would be born, a Savoir to the world and He would be called Emanuel which mean ‘God with us.’  The Old Testament tells of His coming in prophecies throughout its pages.  There was a time I wondered how anyone could be so sure that this Jesus really fit the bill.  Award winning writer and journalist Lee Strobel quotes a renowned mathematician that equated the odds of one person filling the criteria to meet just eight of the prophecies found in the Bible was one in one hundred million billion.  He calculated that if you took this number of silver dollars, they would cover the state of Texas to a depth of two feet.  If you marked one silver dollar among them and then had a blindfolded person wander the whole state and bend down to pick up one coin, what would be the odds he’d choose the one that had been marked?  That would be the odds of filling eight prophecies; and Jesus did that, not with just eight but every prophecy written about the Messiah.  They were met through Him because of the love of a Heavenly Father who sent His own Son into a cold world to be an eternal gift for all; a gift of sacrifice; awesome!

As you celebrate Christmas this year, take a moment to reflect on all the gifts you receive that maybe you have never seen as gifts before.  You just might find that child-like excitement you once had when you received something special that is meant just for you.  Remember the greatest gift that was given to everyone who will receive.  God knows you and wants you to be happy in Him with the gift of eternal life; that came as a child; awesome!

Isaiah 9:6 – “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Happy birthday, Jesus!




One response

3 01 2011
Gracia M.

As I recall she was only calm and angelic while you held her. The rest of the time she was crying. Thanks for this memory. I printed it to save for her to read when she’s older.

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