O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? Thanks be to God, who gives us th victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15.55,57
A wreath is sometimes awarded to a victor, the winner in a competition. We can use the wreath at Christmas time when we celebrate the coming of the greatest Victor that the world has even known, Jesus Christ, the Savior! The circle made by the wreath reminds us that this Victor, who becomes a true man, was at the same time the true and eternal God. The wreath’s greenery symbolizes the eternal life He won for us.
PRAYER: Thank you, God, for victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
My friend, Coco, has come to stay with Chris and I for two weeks so she and I have been keeping ourselves very busy with Christmas baking. Although I wanted to bake earlier, I waited until Coco moved in for the Christmas holidays because I know how much she loves creating her favourite Christmas goodies. I have to say that she has come a very long way in her culinary skills since last Christmas, when she almost burnt our house down. I suppose four months of living in Sweden and cooking for herself really moved her ahead in this area of life. This afternoon, she followed a recipe to the “T” and baked some awesome Cranberry and chocolate macaroons.
This afternoon, Coco and I headed upstairs to get some heavy duty Christmas wrapping done. She loves to engage me in interesting discussions about life, men, marriage and career so she kept busy handing me pieces of Scotch tape, cutting ribbon and peeling off sticky Christmas bows while I stuffed Christmas bags and cut Christmas paper. As we talked together and wrapped presents, I was reminded of a beautiful little story that happened about fiftee years ago, when I was teaching Kindergarden.
A little boy named Matthew gave me a present on December 1st and said to me, “Miss Diane, you’re going to love my present.”
I said to him, “Matthew, it’s too early to open your Christmas present. I’ll put it on the window sill until our Christmas party and then I’ll open it.”
Every day during Calendar time, the class counted days until Jesus’ birthday but Matthew counted days until the party. Every day, he’d roll his dramatic eyes and tell everyone in the class, “Miss Diane is going to love my present.”
One day, we were were making sparkly trees, I overheard a group of students talking about Christmas. Once again, Matthew confidently announced to his friends, “it’s only five more days until Miss Diane opens my present and I know she is going to love it.”
Well, Cordelia had had enough. She stood up, put her hands on her hips and said, “Matthew, I’m tired of hearing you say the same thing every day. Everyone has a present for Miss Diane. Why do you think she is going to love your present the most?
Without missing a beat, Matthew shot up and said, “Because the person who’s giving it to her really loves her.”
…definitely one of the best gifts I was given that year….and I can’t even remember what it was.
The gift of Jesus is given to us because of His love for us.
“The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity – hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory – because at the Father’s will Jesus Christ became poor, and was born in a stable so that thirty years later He might hang on a cross.” J. I. Packer