Sunday, December 25, 2016
The Better Christmas Story
It's been an extended Christmas time for me. This past Wednesday, I exchanged gifts with Scott and Karen and kids before they left for Iowa and time with her family. On Friday, I opened presents with Dave and Sally and their kids before we left for Topeka Saturday afternoon. So, today is Christmas Day and it feels different because of the timing but not in a bad way. Actually, I've been amazingly blessed by being with family and the family Dave married into where I have been the recipient of incredible hospitality. On this trip, I've worshiped with two congregations new to me and both times, the thoughts were centered around the birth of the baby Jesus. Both services spoke of thoughts I had not considered and applications I had never come to grips with. We need to be reminded of Immanuel, God with us, the Word became flesh. Without the baby Jesus, there is no crucified Savior.
Do you know what I've seen at least seven or eight times in the last week? My favorite holiday movie, A Christmas Story. My dad loved it and so do a great many Americans. It's become a must see tradition- they are running a 24 hour marathon of A Christmas Story here in eastern Kansas. But while we associate the movie with this time of year, it has nothing to do with the birth of Jesus. Our focus is sometimes off center of what is important. That's what happened where we were kids. Our folks were married on Christmas Day, 1949, a Sunday after evening services in a small church building in Nashville, Arkansas. But it was typically overlooked on their anniversary. Every December 25th found us excited about presents and a big dinner rather than honoring the marriage of the two most important people in our lives. The birthday of our parents wedding was an afterthought. I don't think it bothered them too much; after all, they chose the date. But we made more of the toys they gave us than the best present they bestowed on us; committing to each other for life. And I never got a BB gun like Ralphie but I received something better. Mom and Dad loved me unconditionally and led all of us to the Savior whose birth is remembered today. And that's my best Christmas memory on the wedding anniversary of Roger Wayne Hawley and Sarah Nelda Chesshir.
Applicable quote of the day:
Ho, ho, but no matter. Christmas was on its way. Lovely, glorious, beautiful Christmas, upon which the entire kid year revolved.
Adult Ralphie (A Christmas Story)
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Posted by Steve Hawley at 9:45 PM