Keith Powell/ Arrow Lakes News
As a child, Christmas was all about getting the presents. My buddy Steve and I spent many hours sitting in the living room dreaming about the best gift we could receive. Store windows on Main Street beckoned, catalogues enticed, and my mind drifted every night as I resisted falling asleep. One thing I waited for every year was the chocolates my dad would get from his customers. He was a door to door milkman and always had thankful patrons. I raided his closet many times during the season. I’m sure I got caught; but, I don’t remember; thankfully! Those days Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and Charlie Brown Christmas specials were new and exciting. The anticipation was unbearable for a preteen. Christmas morning I awake at 5:30am (“back to bed”), 6:00am (“Back to Bed”), 6:45am (“BACK TO BED”), finally around 9:00am, after breakfast and dishes it was time. What torture! I don’t know about you, but my presents were never what I hoped for. The worst was in 1967 when I opened my present; a plastic bowling set. I spent the morning upstairs mad and crying. I was never really happy after all the anticipation. I was a dreamer and felt let down every year.
In 1980 I learned more about the Christmas Child, the one who changed our calendars 20 centuries ago. Up until then I never understood why his coming was such a big deal. Mine was not a church going family. For the first time in my life I understood that God was real. He understood me and cared. He cared enough to send his son Jesus into this world to clean up my mess; our mess. He was extending his hand out to me and offering to stand with me through the good and the bad of this life. His gift to us (Christmas) was his life. He entered our world, as a child; vulnerable to all our problems, and gave the ultimate sacrifice; just like our Canadian soldiers, but more purposefully, he came to our battlefield to die for our freedom. Jesus was born on Christmas morning for the purpose of later dying for our freedom – practical and spiritual. We have peace when we come to God. No longer in a rebellious state; peace of mind and soul. No longer did I have to live with the fear of what tomorrow would bring. The security that regardless of what happens, I am in his plans. He has all the circumstances under control.
That is why Christmas has survived the generations! Cultures have come and gone, Nations have risen up and fallen, opponents have attacked and faded, public opinion has been shaped, but the message of this child, Jesus, has outlasted them all. Why? Because he is the centerpiece of humanity past, present and future. Christmas is the beginning of God’s plan for us all – Easter completes that plan. As we celebrate another season don’t miss God’s gift for you. You won’t be disappointed!