Wednesday, December 22, 2010
You better be good...
To me, the main focus of Christmas is the spiritual one - celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. We need to be reminded - forcefully - despite the efforts of unbelievers - that Christmas is not just a holiday but a holy day. In this day and age that holy day has become more a secular day off and less focused on a relationship with God. I am too much a traditionalist to see things that way and so I recognize Christmas as a most gift of God - a day all too easy to relegate to just another day off - and by the way, a day to spend money on gifts. Money we sometimes can't really afford. But I treasure Jesus as the amazing gift of God.
Not to say I haven't appreciated other gifts I've gotten in the past. From the third grade I remember a model airplane kit at a church Christmas party - a model too complex for a third grader. I remember a small printing press a few years later that opened the door to my love of publications and printing. Once there was a gift from FAO Schwartz (the fantastic toy store in mid-town New York City) of a kit to build a brick structure using tiny clay bricks glued together with strips of cardboard simulating mortar. There was a Christmas in the Depression years in which my father made a flock of buildings and bridges to go with a second-hand electric train set. There was the time I got a Meccano kit to build machines (we couldn't afford the Erector sets). There was a time when I got a chemistry set - a forerunner of my unappreciated experiments in the high school chemistry lab. Following almost a year of cruising on the USS Enterprise, I received another model -a very large kit to make a scale replica of the ship I had worked on as a technical advisor.
But the most wonderful gift I ever received was a small golden band - a wedding ring - since we had not had money enough to buy one for our wedding ceremony a few days earlier (it was 57 years ago on December 19th). Maybe I should correct myself -the greatest gift was the one who gave me the ring. I have always said that the Air Force was very important in helping me to set good priorities in life, but Joyce was a wonderful gift of God who has celebrated and struggled with life at my side for all these years.
So, I say, 'Thank you, Lord, for Jesus and all He represents within our lives'.
And 'Thank you, Lord for Joyce and the children'. Thank you more than any Nieman Marcus or Nordstrom or Macy's gift, of any amount, could equal.
Have a wonderful, blessed Christmas and treasure God's gifts this season.