Posted by: pastortomvabeach | December 15, 2015

Thought For The Week December 20, 2015

Merry Christmas To All,

Many thanks to Pastor Doug for sharing his thoughts about keeping our focus on Christ during Christmas as well as handling the preaching duties alongside Pastor Cheryl while I took a few days of vacation. They are both a great support and do a wonderful job.

One day last week, Lilia and I watched our 4 year old granddaughter, Minnie, while her mom went shopping. I can almost guarantee that if Minnie is at our house for more than five minutes, she is going to ask, “Grandpa, can you play with me?” Sure enough, we wound up in my home office (where we store the toys) rummaging through the closet to see what we would play.

She spied a box of Bible games and puzzles and asked me to pull down the “Jesus stuff”. Inside the box were several puzzle pictures of Bible events like Noah’s Ark and the manger scene. We dug around and put several of the pictures together but Minnie soon tired of that activity and then saw my plastic ax from my Wizard of Oz Tin Man costume. She grabbed it and said let’s make something.

The next 20 or so minutes were spent in a totally make-believe workshop. Minnie would take the ax and make chopping motions while saying, “Chop, chop, chop.” Then once she had the pretend wood chopped, she would fashion pieces of the manger scene. Picking up pieces of the wood she’d say, “Glue, glue, glue, hammer, hammer hammer, paint, paint, paint,” until she was satisfied that her project was complete. As soon as she finished, she said, “Now we have to sell it.”

Selling the project was a door to door sales effort. Minnie told me to stand in the hallway and she knocked on the door. When I answered, she offered me her pretend creation. The first time, I thought she would ask a lot for it and after asking how much, she said, “One dollar.” It seemed such a fine creation would bring a much higher price, so I was thrilled to hand over my dollar.

As soon as the transaction was finished we went back to building another manger. This time it was my turn. So I did the “Chop, chop, chop, glue, glue, glue, hammer, hammer, hammer, paint, paint, paint,” routine until my manger scene was finished. While I was building, Minnie was spurring me on to hurry and get done. I don’t think I was pretend building fast enough. The sales job was left to Minnie, so I had to go to the door again. We did this about six or seven different times, each time she’d knock at the door and I had to be the prospective customer.

Now, I have to tell you that building imaginary projects keeps my attention for about 1 minute but Minnie is the consummate pretender and she adds twists and turns to the game that helped me keep with it. Still, there were many other things I could have been doing. Being on vacation, I had projects around the house, Christmas cards to write, baking for a party Lilia had planned, and other “grown up” things that would have been a better use of my time. Or would it?

Pastor Doug reminded us that it’s important to keep our focus on Christ as we celebrate His coming into the world. I would like to also remind us that we can get so caught up in all we have to do to make Christmas “just right” that we can forget that Jesus didn’t come so that we could have the perfect celebration. He came to save us and bring us back into relationship with Himself and with His Father. Christmas is about relationships. Relationships with God and relationships with each other. If we forget to spend quality time with each other because we get too busy doing things that in the end don’t matter, we miss the whole purpose of the season.

Let me add one more part to my story. After we had made and sold many manger scenes, Minnie changed the project to picture frames, another item she likes to build. We did one together and, all of a sudden, she hugged me and said, “Grandpa, I love you.” Friends, we only get so many opportunities to really show our love to each other and if we miss a chance, it may not come back in just the same way. When Minnie hugged me, I knew what all the pretending was all about. I wouldn’t trade that time for all the completed projects in the world.

May I say that one of the ways we keep Christ in Christmas is to remember the ones that He loved enough to be born, suffer, and die for. Don’t miss an opportunity to make this Christmas memorable by giving yourself, even if you have better things to do, to someone you love who just wants to be loved and appreciated. That’s my Christmas thought!

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