Fresh Manna 2010© by Pastor Tim Burt
It was Christmas day 2009. Renee’s parents were knocking at the door. The house was decorated and looked beautiful. The food was cooking in the kitchen. Christmas was in the air. The doorbell rang and her parents entered.
As I was helping them come in and take their coats off, suddenly, just like it did the night before at church, it hit me again – that feeling of Christmas spirit. It was this overwhelming feeling of thanks. I was thankful to God for my family – immediate and extended. I was thankful I had a home they could come to to celebrate Christmas in. And for a flash, I was covered with thoughts of the mercy of God. As they were entering into my home, in an instant I thought “Lord, if it wasn’t for you, I wouldn’t have a life, a family, or a home. Christmas would have still been a holiday that never measured up to the expectation I had every year of my childhood. Lord if it hadn’t been for your mercy and love, I would have killed myself on drugs or alcohol or something stupid. I’d be dead. Instead here I am surrounded by your goodness and all this love.” It was momentary, it was powerful, it was so real, and it was almost overwhelming.
We went up into the kitchen and as I was getting her parents some cider, the first words out of Renee’s mom’s mouth were, “Where would we be without Jesus?” She then quoted Psa 27:13. “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” I looked at her astonished and laughed as I shared those same thoughts I just had as they were entering the house. We stayed in the kitchen for some time eating Christmas treats while praising God for His goodness in our lives.
Romans 1:5 from the Living Bible describes Christmas for me. “And now, through Christ, all the kindness of God has been poured out upon us undeserving sinners, and now He is sending us out around the world to tell all people everywhere the great things God has done for them, so that they too will believe and obey Him.”
2000 years ago when the evening sky illuminated with the angelic host of Heaven and the angel said, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people,” little did we know how intimately that good news would affect our lives. I surely did not know growing up when I heard Linus quoting them watching the Charlie Brown Christmas special. But I do now and I am filled with thanks! Merry Christmas to each of you from Renee and I. We pray you’ll be intimately touched by His love this Christmas!
In His love,
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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