An Advent Reading for Monday, December 25

Hymn 638, Now Thank We All Our God

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift.  2 Corinthians 9:15 NIV

   Merry Christmas! I have always loved Christmas Day, but now as a parent I love it even more. I love thinking about and buying the perfect gifts for my son. I love even more seeing his joy as he opens each one—the wondrous enthusiasm of childhood! Celebrating Christmas with a child is simply the best.
   I remember well the greatest gift of my life—when my tiny, newborn son was placed into my arms on a chilly November morning in 2008. I was overwhelmed with emotion, as well as with an awareness of the incredible responsibility that lay before me. My prayer life increased earnestly that day!
   How must Mary and Joseph have felt as they held their perfect newborn baby in their arms for the first time? I am sure they instantly knew the boundless love and pride of being new parents, but I cannot imagine the great apprehension they felt knowing they had been chosen to parent the Son of God—the utmost gift of all time to people in great need of a Savior.
   I always enjoy the quiet and peacefulness of Christmas Day, after the excitement of sharing gifts is over. The whole world seems to slow down and embrace the stillness of this holy day. The soft glow of the Christmas tree and Advent candles warms my heart and is a balm to my soul. It becomes a time of reflection—and thankfulness. Thankfulness for the warmth and love of family and friends, but also for the coming of our precious Messiah.
   The hymn writer reminds us, “Now thank we all our God, with heart and hands and voices; who wonderous things has done, in whom His world rejoices. Who, from our mother’s arms, has blessed us on our way, with countless gifts of love, and still is ours today.”
   Rejoice. Christ is born today. Let us be a thankful people today and always.

Bronwyn Stanley
Minister to Children