For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
I’ve said it before, I’ve written it before, but I’ll say it again, I’ll write it again. Once again, it is Christmas Eve. I have celebrated Christmas Eve sixty-seven times. Granted I don’t remember some of the early ones and I guess to be honest I don’t remember a lot of the other ones either, but I remember enough to know that each one was special. When I was growing up it was all about family, food and presents. My Momma and Daddy did such an incredible job of making sure each Christmas was electric with excitement. While there are several special memories, some were just bigger than others. One particular Christmas, my sister had asked for a chord organ. Now that was a pretty big gift and yet I can remember lying in bed…all three of us little ones in one bed for that special night, and hearing through the thin walls the magical sounds of that organ. Santa had come.
The next morning, with a house filled with family, we would celebrate with gifts, some large, some small, but all given and wrapped with love. Later would come a big meal and prayers of gratitude for a good God who loved us and blessed us. Many more Christmas Eves have come and gone. Some were challenging, like when my Daddy was still recovering from a heart attack, some were much smaller like when it was just my wife Judy and me sitting in a small village in Germany serving our country. The crowd was smaller, but the love was just as big.
Later, we had children and Christmas began to take on a whole new dimension. Judy and I became more the giver than the receiver. We had the opportunity to do for them like my parents had done for me. We watched with joy as their faces lit up with happiness as each gift was unwrapped. Clothes and toys with an occasional bike or hamster thrown in the mix are all part of the memory. But through it all, one thing remained a constant…love…love for each other and experiencing the love of a God who won’t, who can’t stop…loving.
Now, well, the Christmas journey continues. Our children have grown up and all three of them have kids of their own and Christmas isn’t less…it is more. At some point and despite busy schedules, we will get together and love, and celebrate and be thankful for each other and for the One who makes it possible. In my experiences of Christmas, I have discovered that it isn’t the circumstances that make a Christmas Eve or Christmas morning special or not. It is not the bounty of presents or the location, no, it is love. My favorite Christmas verse from the Bible says it all, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Now that is a Christmas verse.
God doesn’t want anyone to miss Christmas with Him and that is why He threw open the front door and hung out the welcome sign. He simply says, “Ya’ll come home for Christmas.” No matter who, no matter what, you are welcome home for Christmas. I know growing up things weren’t always perfect in the Taylor tribe but for the most part we did manage to love each other and I’m glad we did. So, Merry Christmas. Remember that He chose to love us and because of that maybe, just maybe, we can choose to do the same for those around us. If you listen this Christmas Eve, you may just hear the Whisperer whisper, “Merry Christmas, I love you, come on home for Christmas. I’ve got this.” Bro. Dewayne