And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11 (KJV)
It is September, and this is a devotion about Christmas.
Don’t blame me for the topic; I’m not responsible. Blame the great news-reporting giant: Time. Last week they featured a consumer story, which was entitled: – This Christmas A Lump of Lead.
Some years ago I remember, the vice-president of a large company who made the September prediction: “This year has the possibility of being the best Christmas ever.” I ended up preaching a sermon, which said the first Christmas, the birth-of-Jesus Christmas had been the best Christmas in history.
But this article wasn’t promising a good Christmas. On the contrary, it began by referring to the 19-million toys, which had been recalled by Mattel. It told of how the largest toy recall in history had sent shockwaves throughout the entire toy-making industry. Companies which had experienced no difficulties, which had no playthings which might be swallowed by small children, which had chalked up no examples of items unsafe lead paint were afraid of consumer fallout. As a result, they were thinking that this Christmas had the potential of being the ‘worst Christmas’ ever.
Predicting the possibility of decreased Christmas sales, the article suggested the traditional lump of coal, which Santa is supposed to give to bad children, might be replaced by a lump of lead, which fearful and wary parents might give to toy companies in the form of decreased sales.
So, what do you think? Will your children consider December 25th, 2007 to be the worst Christmas ever? Will it be the best, or will it fall somewhere in between?
You will be able to answer that question honestly if you know the basis of your family’s holy-day celebrations. If Christmas has been reduced to the accumulation of beautiful, albeit poisonous-paint covered stuff, this may be a lump-of-lead festival. On the other hand, if our families are centered on the coming of the Christ Child; if we are remembering the birth of the Savior Whose life was dedicated to saving us from our sins, this year’s celebration has the potential of being one of the best ever.
I know September is early, but as the stores are telling us, it’s never too early to prepare for Christmas.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, please send Your Holy Spirit so, this Christmas, homes may remember why You came. May this be the cause of Christmas celebration. In Your Name. Amen.
UPDATE: A number of Daily Devotion readers who live near the place where the young child lost his money in the store parking lot report:
1. The man who took the money has returned it.
2. The family of the boy involved has decided not to press charges against the man.
3. Workers at the store took up a collection for the boy. That money has now been given to charity.
I thought you would like to know. Please pray for the people and situations we talk about in our devotions. ~Pastor Klaus
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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