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Archive for December, 2012

New Ways for Old Paths

Luke 2:20

The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.   (NIV)

Christmas was a memorable tradition filled day when I was a kid.  Our rituals included:

  • Dressing up – including a tie before seeing our gifts from Santa;
  • Standing in the hallway, lined up by age, waiting for Dad to open the door for us to see our gifts from Santa;
  • Opening gifts from Santa first and then having breakfast;
  • Opening other gifts after breakfast was cleaned up and after Mom had the turkey started;
  • Dad passing out gifts one-by-one and as we watched each other open their gifts before he passed out another.

While others have found our rituals a tad formal, I loved them and still miss them.

However, there was always one burdensome tradition.  The last present we received each year was box of stationary.  Writing Thank You notes to everyone who gave us a gift was an absolute must!

Mom would hound us until these notes were written.  I often joke that Mom made us write thank you notes before we could open the gifts.  

As a child this was a tortuous tradition, but it was a practice worth the learning.

My parents taught me the importance of gratitude.  I am grateful they did!  

The gifts they gave us were precious and required the expenditure of hard-earned money.  Dad built his own business and money was not plentiful when I was young.  I still shed tears remembering the Christmases when I received my record player, red bike, and coal fired steam plant.

This is why my favorite verse in Luke’s birth narrative is, “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen!”

Their lives (ours, too) had been changed by the gift of Jesus.  

For this I am thankful and for this I offer Him glory and praise.

Prayer:  Life-giving Lord, your providence and grace has changed my life, our lives.  Accept my humble praise and grateful tears for the birth of your Son, Jesus, our Lord and Savior.  Amen.

 

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