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Memories of Christmases Long Ago (published in The North Weld Herald/Voice 12/19/13)

posted Jan 16, 2014, 3:03 PM by Fccea Webmaster

Memories of Christmas Long Ago 

Author Thomas Cathcart suggests that one option for immortality is to leave a lot of loot behind. He says, “In this way, every time your grand niece,Tiffany, buys a new pair of snakeskin pumps, she will be thinking, "Thank you, Uncle Daryl!" or possibly, "Thank you for dying, Uncle Daryl!" Whichever. Your name lives on.” Well, that’s one way to leave a legacy. But Christmas reminds me I know a better one.

I always look forward to Christmas, but I have to admit that it has become somewhat bittersweet for me, as I imagine it has for many.

I have fond memories of Christmases long ago. I was the oldest of eleven children and every year we counted the days until we could open those presents. It didn’t matter that the gifts were meager in the early days; the anticipation was intense. 

As we grew older and got jobs, the gifts got more exotic and we took great joy in making sure that the day was special for everyone. Since gifts were opened one at a time, it soon became a half-day process. Great memories.

But time has passed. Mom and Dad are gone. Brothers and sisters married long ago and spread out so that we seldom see any at Christmas. Our own children are far away (although we are delighted that daughter, Sarah, is with us this year), so while we still love the time, it’s bittersweet; not quite what it once was.

But there is a legacy. Our old Pastor Loren used to say that the greatest legacy a person could leave their family is the assurance by their profession of faith and the way they lived that they are with their Lord. From that perspective, our legacy is precious.

We always understood that while we loved the gift-giving, the greatest gift of all was the eternal life made available to all believers through the death and resurrection of the Christmas baby.

Three of my brothers and I used to sing in a quartet. One of the songs we used to sing at Christmas included these words: “The Babe left the manger and went to the Cross/ To pay the wages of sin./Your way of forgiveness is not by the Babe/But the Christ who died for your sin.”

Mom and Dad not only taught us that -- they lived it. They didn’t leave a lot of “loot” behind; but they left a priceless legacy. And I’ll tell you what! I look forward to a Christmas not long from now when the whole family will be gathered again to celebrate Christmas – with Jesus Himself! Imagine!

You say, “Do you really believe that?” Yeah, I really do. I have His Word on it. And I have that legacy – the same one I hope to leave behind.

How about you? What are you leaving behind? If it’s anything less than Jesus, I urge you – start a new one today. Merry Christmas!

By His Grace, Pastor Dave