Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Christmas Morning Memories

I don’t know what you’re doing for Christmas. The Saturday before, Tom and I are traveling to Atlanta to spend a few days with my daughter and her family. We will eat good food, play some games, take long walks and even longer naps.

But on Christmas morning, I hope we will carry on a tradition that has warmed my heart for decades. You see, my parents served as officers in The Salvation Army. So, the Christmas season flew by.

But Christmas morning was different. It began with a hearty breakfast of fried potatoes, eggs, and bacon. After that, we gathered in the living room around the decorated tree. Underneath the tree rested paper bags with writing in them. There were pillowcases filled up and tied with a ribbon, along with a smattering of wrapped packages. The reason for the tacky presents stemmed from the fact we were so busy serving others, we had no time to shop and wrap presents for ourselves.

It didn’t bother me.

Before we opened any gift, my father opened his King James Bible to Luke 2. Either he would read, or he would assign one of us to read. The story never grew old. Each year, it felt like a breath of fresh air to me. Then he would light a single white candle and we would all sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.

Yeah, I know it’s corny. But it was priceless—like the sweet song of redemption.

Tears almost always came to my eyes. As a teenager, my tears came from a grateful heart because of time spent with family. As I grew older, it deepened.

 Now, it is worship. Galatians 4:4-5 states this:

“But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children.”

The best present of all came wrapped in cloths, lying in a manger. This present won’t rust, doesn’t have payments, and lasts forever.

It’s a no-brainer.

Perhaps you have never embraced this child who became a man to purchase eternal life for mankind. My prayer is that this season you will.

Take a look at these powerful words from the book of Isaiah 9:6-7:

For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.

The government will rest on his shoulders.

And he will be called:

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

His government and its peace will never end.

He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity.

The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen!

This child is not like any other. God became man and dwelt among us.

I can tell you right now what my favorite part of Christmas 2018 will be. Sure, I’ll bask in spending time with my grandson and my kids. But then my eyes will tear up as we light a candle and sing a simple song.

The sweet song of redemption.

I pray you can hear it, too.

Copyright © 2018 Pauline Hylton, used with permission.

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