Christmas presentsThere are few times of the year that present the Church with a greater degree of purchasing power than the time from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day.  I’m actually not thinking about purchasing gifts or other stuff but purchasing a more valuable commodity–time.

Christmas clockDuring these weeks, as we abandon our vocations in order to celebrate the birth of Christ, time can seem to slow to a creep as we share these hours and days with family or friends.  We are often moving in a whirlwind of activity. It is because we are thrown with our closest associates and family that we can purchase time and make memories that will last all during our lives.

family at ChristmasTime may be the most valuable thing we can give the people who live with us and around us.  I’m not suggesting that the purchasing of gifts isn’t important; but it is the time we spend playing and laughing that will be cherished as precious memories.

During these precious days, we can speak about our Savior, sharing the love of God in many abstract and concrete ways.  As I sit in the dining room of my daughter, I hear a whispered, “I love you” shared from mother to child as she hands her daughter a towel and clean school clothes.  It’s an important day in school and the preteen woman/child needs the added assurance of love and acceptance.

Time has been purchased in a minute snatch for a little one.  A granddaughter for whom Jesus came in order to purchase her with his own blood.

Christmas treeAs Pastor Iman passed Eric who paced back and forth at the back of the room, the pastor asked the young man, “What part do have in the play?”

“I’m the star,” Eric said, scratching his head and facing the inquiring man.

“Oh, that’s great but what is your part?”

“I’m the star,” Eric repeated, patiently.

“I know you are the star; but what is the part you are playing tonight?”

Eric’s autism kicked in as he nervously hit the air with his fist and said, “I told you.  I’m the star.”

Christmas playRealizing that Eric’s patience was gone, the interested Pastor walked away, still wondering what part Eric was playing in our annual Christmas play.

Sunday evening, The Special Gathering of Melbourne had our annual play and cantata.  “A Florida Christmas” is a playful enactment of the Christmas events of 2000 years ago.  One song brings tears to those of us who have learned the music.  Nevertheless,  most of the music and the play is joyfully planned to be fun.

Christmas ChoirWhile the song that introduces the wise men was sung, Eric’s part was to carry the star guiding the wise men to the Savior.  As he had reported to the inquiring pastor, Eric was the star.

After the performance, Pastor Inman came to me laughing about his mistake.

There are times that all of us are misunderstood when we are trying to communicate the best we can.  However, we must continue to repeat the facts.  We are called to teach and share the good news of Jesus and his love.  His mercy and grace are free gifts and that is the story of Christmas.  Even though others may not be able to understand that simple message, it does not diminish the truth of our Savior’s sacrifice.  After all, Jonathan Smith correctly penned in one of the song that we sang this year, “I’m not one to second guess what angels have to say, but this is such a strange way to save the world.”