Looking in the Toe of the Stocking

Titus 3:4-7

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life. 

Thought for the Day:  Let God bring you joy in Christmas.

My memory flowed back about fifty years as I thought about how Christmas morning was in our house so many years ago.  When my brothers and I were young, before they were confined to wheelchairs, were like most children today. We awaited the morning, the Christmas Morning, to run to the living room to see what Santa had left under the Christmas Tree.  My parents were not rich, and we didn’t have a lot, but each year they somehow gave us the one or two things our hearts desired.  I never understood how they did it, because none of us ever really asked for anything from Santa.  My parents just knew.  After we opened the gifts, we opened our stockings and went through the little goodies.  We all found fruit, little toys, and my daddy always found his “Heath” bar that Santa always remembered to put in his stocking.  At the end of our stocking time, I remember my oldest brother, Ricky, turning his stocking upside down in the air to see if there was anything left in the toe that he had missed.  We laughed every year as that became a part of our Christmas routine.

Today, I remember these days fondly and cherish the many memories in my heart.  Those memories are all I have left of my family as my parents and brothers are gone now.  My Christmas morning now is giving me memories of my husband and my children as we awake on Christmas morning.  Now, we set up the video camera to record the memories of our boys’ faces as they walk into the Great Room and run to the Christmas Tree.  We sit on the couch with the Advent candles in front of us and read about the Birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.  We open our gifts, and we look in our stockings.  I, as my brother did so many years ago, turn my stocking upside down to see if there is anything left in the toe.  Today, my family makes new memories of Christmas.  But, there is something familiar on these most recent Christmases that feel the same as those so many years ago, Jesus is in the Center and Jesus brings the joy and love to each of our hearts.

Prayer:  O God, thank you for Christmas.  Thank you for the memories we have of Christmases past as we think about our families.  Thank you for the new memories of Christmases present as we make new memories about our families.  Thank you mostly, for sending Your son, Jesus Christ, into the world to show us love and joy.  Help each of us feel the joy of Christ in Christmas this year.    Amen.

Prayer Focus:  Christmas Memories

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