Friday, December 24, 2010
DEVOTION: Blessed Christmas Greetings
What have you done about greetings? How do people know the gift is from you?
Because I make my own cards, I print small greetings with appropriate pictures, depending on who the recipient is. So my little granddaughter, Samantha, may get a picture of the angel at the top of the Christmas tree. My grandson, Timmy, a few years older, may get a Christmas tree laden with gifts. I have to admit, however, the actual greeting lacks both the personal touch and creativity.
"Have a Happy Christmas Timmy, Love Granny and Grandpa."
"Merry Christmas Sammy, We love you, Granny and Grandpa."
When our children were growing up at home, one of our sons always caused a chuckle. He either couldn't be bothered with labels, or he forgot them. I'm not sure which. But we could always be sure the gifts under the trees without labels were from him. If we picked one up without a label he would call out, "That's for Dad," or "That's Debbie's."
The other day, I read of a man who was the coordinator for an organisation that sends gifts from incarcerated fathers to their children. He described the sort of greetings these fathers, who had all the time in the world to think, wrote to their children.*
"You are precious, perfect and deeply loved. Merry Christmas."
"Always and forever I think of you and love you. Happy Christmas."
Are we in too much of a hurry when we scribble those last-minute cards or stickers to attach to our hastily-wrapped presents? Or is it that we think, probably correctly, that the recipients will be in so much of a rush when they rip open the gifts, they'll barely glance at the message. So why waste the time?
Over 2,000 years ago, God sent us a gift. It was one He had planned ever since Adam and Eve ate their illicit snack and were expelled from the Garden of Eden. He sent His one and only Son to carry that special message to you and to me. "God so loved the world" - that's you: Mary, Lisa, Ruth . . . put in your own name - "that He gave His only Son, that whoever" (i.e. Mary, Lisa, Harry . . . ) " believes in Him will have eternal life."
The Gift? Salvation.
The Message? God so loved . . . .
The Messenger? Jesus Christ.
Maybe we should revisit the Christmas greetings we use tomorrow. It's easy to shout, "Happy Christmas!" But is there something more we should be saying?
My prayer for each of you is that tomorrow will be a reminder of the very first Christmas gift. And may the message you receive and pass on be one that speaks of God's incredible love for each one of us.
(*Charles P. Axe--The Secret Place--December 15 2010)
Shirley M. Corder writes from the coast of South Africa. She will be thinking of all you readers this Christmas time, and praying that the Truth of Christmas will bring joy to your hearts. Visit her website for writers, or Rise and Soar, her site to encourage and inspire those in the cancer valley.