I don't know about you, but I have some pretty vivid memories of some of my childhood Christmases. When I say some, I don't mean they weren't all memorable, it's just some hold more significance in my subconscious mind than others. Like growing up in a baptist church, we celebrated Jesus birth on Christmas Eve with a special service. All church family members played a part in the story, from the choir to the children. We were able to recreate the Christmas story. It was a wonderful time I will treasure in my memory bank hopefully for many more years. After the church service, we would go to my grandparent's home for dinner. Our cue to head home for the night was the sound of sleigh bells outside the house. I didn't know until I was older, that it was actually my great grandfather on the roof jingling sleigh bells that were sewn to a belt. Or, I love this one, the same great grandfather opening every gift with his pocket knife so my great grandmother could salvage the wrapping paper, all while wearing his beloved Fedora and his pipe hanging from his wrinkled mouth.
Do you have a favorite photo from a Christmas past, one that may trigger some of these memories for you? Mine is here.
It was Christmas 1976, I was three years old in this photo. My father playing a toy harmonica and me blowing into a kazoo. This photo has always brought a smile to my face. I have great memories all around, of my parents playing on the floor with us as children. But this particular memory is only evident to me by the photo, something tangible. Just like the Christmas story referenced in the bible, the truth centered around Jesus birth, is only evident to us now from scripture. Something tangible.
Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
The shepherds had been out in their fields tending to their livestock when angels had appeared to them announcing the birth of the Messiah. Imagine what they saw. And how this scene may have been perceived. Their tangible proof of Jesus' birth came when they happened upon the very place the angels had said He would be found. We have faith that the gospel story of our dear savior's birth is the clear and truthful depiction of such events.
With this written and documented evidence, may we also be able to say, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests!
Glory to God this season and a Merry Christmas to you and your families. May your time together be blessed and I pray you are able to make new and lasting Christmas memories.