Unwrap the gift of eternal life this holiday

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 25, 2010

It has been interesting for my family to experience our first Andalusia Christmas.  I sort of miss the games we played in South Dakota, like, “ring around the snow blower,” “ride the snow shovel,” and my personal favorite, “under which snow drift is my wife Nancy buried?”

Now all I get to do is e-mail my South Dakota pastor friends and bemoan the fact that I am “forced” to ride my motorcycle most of the winter.  OK, I know that is mean, but it is a lot of fun!

Most families, churches, and communities have different Christmas traditions.

When I was a boy, we lived on a farm outside of Herndon, Kansas.

Our tradition involved attending our Church Christmas Eve service and then go caroling to the homebound folks.

The town was small enough that we would walk but we never got cold or hungry for at every house there would be goodies and hot chocolate.

Our huge extended family would then meet back at Grandma and Grandpa’s house for more goodies.

Of course, the adults would visit..and visit….forever it would seem to me!  Santa came to western Kansas right after the Christmas Eve service, so the sooner we got home and closed the doors on the chicken coup, the sooner we got to open presents.  I always left the biggest and nicest looking present for last.

I always opened it, but I wanted to savor the anticipation.

Sadly, there are people across Andalusia, and Alabama, and the United States and the world who never get around to opening their best, biggest, brightest, and most beautiful present.

Of course, I am speaking about the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Perhaps they feel they are too busy, or have any one of a dozen excuses for not unwrapping the gift of eternal life.

Maybe they are planning on waiting till they are older, or the kids have graduated.

Who knows?

I can tell you for a fact that there is no better time than right now to unwrap that present!  None of us knows what the future will bring.

We will never be good enough, or rich enough, or powerful enough, or nice enough, to deserve the kingdom of heaven.  Unwrap the gift!!  Experience the Grace of God through the birth, life, death and resurrection of the baby whose birth we celebrate at Christmas. My prayer for you this Christmas is not that God be with you.  God is always with you.

I pray each and every one of you are aware of God’s presence.

Dale Sallans