Dec. 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Rejoice!

“For unto us a child is born!

Unto us a Son is given...

And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,

Mighty God, Everlasting Father,

Prince of Peace.” Is. 9:6

Tomorrow is Christmas! Can’t believe it got here so quickly. I’ve baked a million cookies (picture is of just a few of them - fruitcake cookies to be precise), a thousand loaves of bread, hundreds of jars of apple butter and Christmas Jam... well, OK, maybe not quite that many, but it seems like it. I’ve addressed more cards than I can count and all our gifts to friends and family far away are in the tender care of the Postal Service now. I expect we’re all racking our brains to remember that one thing or person we forgot and, hopefully, there isn’t one.

We can breathe, relax, look forward to a Christmas Eve service tonight and then sleep while visions of sugarplums dance in our heads. Many of us will think of those who won’t be here this Christmas. A dear friend sent me a recording he has treasured on his phone of his mom’s Christmas greeting from a year ago. Made me miss his mother, my mother, and John’s mother. Be sure you tell everybody you see that you love them.

“Did anybody tell you, “I love you!” today?

Did anybody tell you, “I love you!” today?

Put me on your list, let me be the first, “I love you!” today.

God loves you and I love you, and that’s how it should be.

God loves you and I love you, and that’s how it should be.

Put me on your list, let me be the first, “I love you!” today.”

That’s the song our beloved Pastor Earl Lee used to sing. Pretty much says it all. Speaking of saying it all, this is what our Christmas cards say this year:

“This Christmas...mend a quarrel.

Seek out a forgotten friend.

Dismiss suspicion and replace it with trust.

Write a letter. Give a soft answer.

Encourage youth. Manifest your loyalty in word and deed.

Keep a promise. Forego a grudge.

Forgive an enemy. Apologize.

Try to understand.

Examine your demands of others.

Think first of someone else.

Be kind. Be gentle. Laugh a little more.

Express your gratitude. Welcome a stranger.

Gladden the heart of a child.

Take pleasure in the beauty and wonder of the earth.

Speak your love and speak it again.” Howard W. Hunter

Merry Christmas, dear friends and family!