Scripture Passage: 2 Corinthians 8:1-9 “For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.” (2 Corinthians 8:3-4)
What do you remember about Christmas? I was about twelve years old and living in a suburb of Chicago. Our family made our annual trip to Roxboro NC to visit our grandparents for the Christmas holidays. By our definition, our grandparents definitely lived “in the country.” So, we left the city and drove eighteen hours halfway across the country to arrive sleepy and tired at their cozy, country cottage. Well, I was very disappointed to find that there was no tree in their living room, where I would sleep on the sofa. I tried to hide my disappointment, but my Grandad saw through that. The next morning, he said “Come on. We are going on a walk.” He picked up his ax from the shed and led me down a path through the woods into an open field. There were numerous cedar trees lining the field. So, we studied and compared them before picking out the most beautiful tree. He chopped it down, and we dragged it back to the house. He found an old metal bucket, put the tree in the middle of it, and filled it with rocks to make it stand upright. We placed it in the living room by the fireplace. Grandmom found her old lights and ornaments which had seen many earlier Christmases. After adding lights and ornaments, we covered that tree with those silver, shiny, metallic-like icicles. Then we congratulated ourselves on making such a beautiful tree. I don’t have a picture of that tree, but I have a vivid memory of how beautiful it looked in the small living room near the fireplace.
I don’t remember any of the gifts that I got that year. I don’t remember any of the relatives that came to visit us or anything about the long trip home. But I have a precious memory of hiking down through the woods with my Grandad, finding the perfect tree and decorating it with my Grandmom. As a matter of fact, I don’t remember anything that happened that entire year of my life, except an older set of grandparents who saw a little girl’s wish and set out to make it happen.
I hope that this year you are able to make a memory with your child or grandchild or someone else that might last them for over fifty years and bring joy to their heart. It truly is the small things in life that bring us joy. As it says in Psalm 90:12, “So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.”
Prayer: Dear God, we thank You for your generosity to us in sending Your Son to us. As we remember the Christ child, create within us generous hearts. In the name of Jesus, we pray, Amen.
Barbara Rowley – 2017