Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…

“And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.”
Luke 2: 10-12 (KJV)

Christmas. Less than a week away.

Our joyous celebration of God’s gift of love for us.

A Baby lying in a damp, dark stable in Bethlehem over two-thousand years ago. Sent for you and me, to accept as our Savior and Lord.

Christmas. The gift of Christ. The best gift.

Times of excitement. Joy. Anticipation. Hope.

Yet also difficult times of sadness. Heartbreak. Emptiness. Hopelessness.

That’s the reality of some of our lives at times, during this season of Christmas.

Amidst a season of celebration there are periods of sadness, uncertainty, emptiness, loneliness and at times hopelessness.

Loved ones are lost. Their memory overwhelms us. Someone has headed in the wrong direction, and now embarrassed and alone, is not sure what to do.

The news of recent biopsies stops you. Someone is seeking approval they never got as a child. Another is wandering through the days, unable to step where they know they should step. Memories of past empty Christmases linger.

It’s Christmas. Full of joyful and difficult moments and memories.

But remember, it’s Christ. First and forever.

I’ve seen the movie over one-hundred times, and still have tears flow at the end. In “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the central character, George Bailey, realizes that $8,000 has been lost from the Bailey Building and Loan Company he runs which his father started.

He sees his only option to end his life and jump into the river leaving his life insurance proceeds to pay the debt. But Clarence Odbody, Angel 2nd Class, is sent by God to save the day.

George laments that things would be better if he had never lived. But Clarence shows him what the world would have been like without him. In example-after-example in George’s life, Clarence shows George the lives he positively impacted with his life.

At the conclusion of the movie, the small town of Bedford Falls learns of George’s situation and gathers at his home to contribute their share to carry George well beyond the cash he needs to make up for the loss.

Even George’s younger brother Harry, hearing of his brother’s plight, and whose life George saved from drowning when they were younger, returns. Now a combat pilot, having just received the Congressional Medal of Honor saving the lives of hundreds in the war, he flies through a snowstorm to get there and wraps it all up with what is truly important in a toast with these words—

“To my big brother, George, the richest man in town!”

That’s you and me, my friends. Rich, when we accept the only gift that truly matters, the gift of God’s Son sent that day so long ago.

The day we celebrate each year as Christmas in just a few days again.

Christmas, and what it truly means. The Christ-child shining through all the stuff of our lives—both ups and downs, joys and heartaches—now inviting us again to return to Him, or for some to come to Him for the first time.

And with the acceptance of that best gift of all in our lives, we realize that we too are—

“The richest person in town!”

Not just one day a year, but every day, and for eternity.

Merry Christmas!

In His Name–Scott