Christmas Message 2023


the lessons never end

It’s a birth celebration like no other!

I fondly remember the excitement of Christmas morning as a kid, especially trying to guess what Mom had placed under the tree for me. Over the years, this became a running joke in the family: before we’d exchange gifts, I’d ask Big Guy (my dad) if he knew what he bought us. This wasn’t just on Christmases but birthdays too. After all, the gift tag always said, “From Mom and Dad.” But we knew Big Guy had one job at Christmas each year: buy Mom’s Christmas present!

Over the past couple of years, I’ve been thinking daily about heavenly and earthly treasures. We come into the world with no physical possessions, and we leave with none. Yet while we’re here on Earth, it’s so much fun to receive earthly treasures. I know I’d never turn them down!

I believe the word “treasure” has a few different meanings. Maybe wisdom comes with age, but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed a better understanding of what a treasure truly is.

It’s that time of year when family and friends gather; when you invite others to your home to celebrate the birth of Jesus; when family traditions come out in full force. It’s that time of year when a country, a nation, or even the world comes together for one primary purchase: the Hope of Eternal Life.

When it comes to earthly financial treasures, it’s that time of year when you see so many people giving financially to the local food shelf or homeless shelter, or to their church hosting a meal for those in need.

Treasures are when it’s cold outside and the fire is warm in your home. Treasures can even be something as simple as having a dog or cat. Someone once told me having a pet was a financial luxury. The more I thought about it, the more I agreed. Those little rascals aren’t cheap!

Did you know one of God’s perfect foods is chocolate? According to Genesis 1:11–13,

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

Somehow, God knew I wouldn’t survive on Earth without chocolate. And it was good! Life’s too good for lousy chocolates, so enjoy this earthly treasure. (My question I’ll have for him one day will be this: “Why did it take you three whole days to create this perfect food?”)

Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.