Another Christmas has passed and the New Year is around the corner. I wonder what memories you will have of this Christmas season? Do you want to hear mine?
Sitting on the sofa with our feet up while watching one of my favorite movies, “White Christmas”. My husband, the good sport, complaining, “They’re not going to sing again, are they?” My son laughing..."It’s a musical, dad."
Putting my stethoscope on a sniffling 3 year old’s chest. Tiny breaths move in, out, in, out. I watched as her eyes widened suddenly and her mouth went into the shape of an ‘o’. She reached out a petite index finger and softly touched the Santa pinned on my sweater. When her eyes met mine, she smiled at me like we were sharing a wonderful secret.
My next memory needs a bit of history.
Years ago, I was teaching a Vacation Bible School class. The theme was camping and the kids would get stickers after competing activities. It wasn’t unusual for them to want to exchange a raccoon for a squirrel or a turtle. This boy stood in line with a special request. He asked me...”Do you have a sticker of a bear mauling a man?”
“WHAT?!?” It took me a minute to realize he was sizing me up... wanting that very reaction. I shooed him back to his seat and thought to myself...”I’m going to have to watch that one.”
This year, that same boy...now a man... explained the Christmas story through the eyes of Joseph, Mary and the shepherds. I’ve heard the nativity story a million times. But this was from different angles and for the first time in years...I was able to see the birth of Jesus in a unfamiliar way.
He paced the stage, stopped to face the crowd with quips, sarcasm and truth.
The sanctuary was dim. Quiet. No one gossiping to their neighbor. Light from the altar streamed, glowed onto the worshipper's faces and it was clear that he held them all in the palm of his hand. It was an extraordinary experience.
At his conclusion, I looked at all the faces in the sanctuary and thought to myself, “They think he should be watched too...”
Charlie Ridenour preaches at Crossroads Bible Church in Double Oak, Texas.