“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever,” (Hebrews 13:8).
There is nothing that sets my heart and soul on a walk down Memory Lane quite like pulling out my Christmas decorations. Hundreds of colored ornaments—nothing uniform about any of them—may not look like so much to anyone else on earth, but they are just priceless in what they represent to me. More than anything else at this season of my life, these treasures I pull out just once a year, drive home the stark reality of passing years and the dramatic changes inflicted by Father Time.
When Lem and Betsy were little, I made each of them a thread count ornament each year. Of course I intended to continue as long as my eyes could see and my fingers were nimble. Somewhere along the way I got distracted or “busy,” or maybe the Christmas tree got so full that I stopped doing it. But I can’t tell you how my heart smiles even now when I pull out those ornaments and see the year stitched in the corner. I have my own “Kodak moment” straight to the memory of excited little people with faces brighter than the lights on the tree, children’s choir programs performed with unmatched exuberance, and everything else that Christmas becomes when there are children at home. And, too, I remember grandparents, very much a part of it all, that thought their grandchildren could do no wrong—ever. Every child should be so blessed. Their grandparents were unconditional love personified!
But for Jesus, the passage of time would be a very depressing thing. Not because children grow up—like most mothers, I truly enjoy relating to my children as the adults they now are. Goodness! One can only MOTHER for so long before the wheels come off, the knees wear out, and the multi-tasking skill disappears along with the waistline. But there is a bittersweet something about key holidays, because they are like milestones in our lives. It’s hard to think of Christmas without remembering all the Christmas pasts celebrating with beloved friends and family, who are now celebrating around the Throne. When I think of those I miss in those terms, I am quite comforted because I am certain the best—the very best—is indeed yet to be for all of us who love God!
It makes perfect sense to my finite mind, that when God came to earth, He came as a baby. That was not the hard part. Who doesn’t love a baby? But He grew, walked among us with His very heart beating like ours, loving, hurting, wanting to fix all the broken places in those He loved, but having to endure the limits of being human. Emmanuel—God with us. Literally.
Sacrifice? I get it. I think I know a lot about loving deeply. At least, I think I do—until I consider Jesus, and what was required of Him to demonstrate to us what His kind of love really looks like. I look at these little ornaments and I think they represent “love” for my children. Then I look at the manger, and finally the cross. It hits me hard that even at this late date, I still have much to learn about love.
I am reminded every month as I interview folks or read the columns from our contributing writers that I have a wonderful job. From every corner, from people who do not know each other or have any idea about what God might doing in someone else’s life, I get to see and hear how very active and involved our gracious God is in the everyday world around us.
You have lots of that to enjoy in this issue. Our cover story on Ginnie Ingram will touch the hearts of parents, students, teachers, physicians, and every Believer who gives even a passing thought to the word, “legacy.”
When I was a starry-eyed, college freshman, I wrote a poem that began, “Stay, child, who lives in my soul.” I still feel that way many decades later. But today I add a word to that plea. “Stay, Christ Child, who lives in my soul.” Merry Christmas. My prayer for all of us is that the Christ Child—Jesus, our elder brother—lives in all of our hearts this Christmas and always.
Much love to all of you who read MCL,