Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Christmas Lesson
byTom Krause

"Is there a purpose? Why are we here?"
A little boy asked as the yuletide drew near."
I really do hope that someday I will know
the reason we stand out here in the snow,
ringing this bell as people walk by,
while thousands of snowflakes descend from the sky.
"The mother just smiled at her shivering son
who would rather be playing and having some fun
but soon would discover before evening was done
the meaning of Christmas the very first one.
The young boy exclaimed, "Mother where does it go?"
"All the pennies we collect - every year in the snow."
"Why do we do it? Why do we care?"
"We worked for these pennies,so why should we share?"
"Because once a baby - so meek and so mild
was born in a manger - so humble the child
the son of a King - was born in this way
to give us the message He carried that day.
"The present God gave the world on that night,
was the gift of his son to make everything right.
Why did he do it? Why did he care?
To teach about loving and how we should share."
"The meaning of Christmas, you see my dear son,
is not about presents or just having fun
but the gift of a father - his own precious Son
so the world would be saved
when his work was all done"
Now the little boy smiled - with a tear in his eye
as snowflakes kept falling from out of the sky -
rang louder the bell as the people walked by
while down deep in his heart
at last he knew why.
Copyright © Tom Krause 2003.

2 Corinthians 9: 15
I do not know of anyone who does not like to receive a gift, whether it is for birthday, Christmas or for any other special occasion. I know that I love to receive them. I find joy and excitement in the sense of wonder as to what is contained in that gift regardless of its size.Christmas is the time when most people are thinking about the giving and receiving of gifts. One verse has kept coming to my mind these last few days, which says. "Thanks be to God for His unspeakable gift" (2 Corinthians 9: 15). In Chapters 8 and 9, Paul has been speaking to the Corinthian Christians concerning giving, not just the giving of money but the giving of themselves to the Lord. He also reminds them (and us) of the wonderful gift that God has given -- His marvelous grace. As I think of this verse, I cannot help but think of God's wonderful, unspeakable gift of love so freely given to all mankind -- the gift of the Christ Child born in a lowly stable in Bethlehem so many years ago. What amazing love that God should give the gift of His only Son wrapped in the human form of a baby. This One who had known, and could by rights claim, all the glory and majesty that heaven had to offer was willing to yield to His Father's will and come to earth, be born as a babe in a stable in a manger -- an animal feed trough as His bed. This is amazing love -- a gift unspeakable to man. John 3: 16 reminds us, "For God so loved the world that He gave -- He gave the gift of His beloved Son. What gift are we willing to bring to the One who was born -- born to be King?The wise men journeyed from afar to offer Him their worship and their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. They did not just happen to be nearby and decide to just drop in and give their gifts. To them there was much more involved. They had to journey from a far country that they might worship and give their gifts. Thus they came seeking to find the One they knew in their hearts was to be the King of the Jews. When they found Him, they worshipped and laid their gifts before Him.How do we respond to this wonderful gift that God has so freely given to us? Has Christmas time become so common place that we only think of celebrating with friends and families, wondering what we will be given with little or no thought as to what God has provided in the giving of His Son for our salvation?God has given us so much. All that He desires in return is that we love Him and accept the salvation that He offers to all who believe and allow Him to indwell their hearts and lives. We, like the wise men, need to come seeking the One who was born to be King, humbly bow before Him and give Him everything we possess. This is the greatest gift that we can offer to Him.When wise men come seeking for Jesus from far,With rich gifts to greet Him and led by a star,They found in a stable the Savior of men, A manger His cradle, so poor was He then.Though laid in a manger, He came from a throne,On earth though a stranger, in Heaven He was known.How lowly, how gracious His coming to earth! His love, my love kindles to joy in His birth.
(Richard Slater)
What gift do you bring this Christmas season? Can you say, "I bring Him my heart? That is the most wonderful gift that we can give for His unspeakable gift of love given on that first Christmas day in Bethlehem

Monday, December 17, 2007

Welcome to our Winter Wonderland