December 15, 2016 - Karla Rowley

Luke 2:4-7

When I was a child, my family bought our Christmas tree (the ‘real’ kind) every year on December 15.  My sisters and I gave it to our mother as a part of her Christmas gift.

Within four or five days of December 15, mother would become ill.  It happened every year and became a part of the Christmas tradition of our family.  I think I was about 12 when the tradition was unmasked.  My mother was horribly allergic to the tree and it made her ill every year.

We loved giving her the tree on December 15, her birthday, because we thought we were doing something so wonderful for her.  When we finally bought an artificial tree the problem solved!  Mom was able to enjoy both her birthday and the Christmas season more comfortably.  The gift we thought she needed was a problem until we took more care to know what she really needed and wanted.

It probably wasn’t tops on Joseph’s list to take a very pregnant wife on a journey.  It probably wasn’t on Mary’s list either—but that journey led to Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem and to our time of celebration each year.  Let us remember the Gift of all Gifts—Emmanuel—God with us.

Father God, You see the beginning and the end of our lives—we see only today.  Open us to be the blessing for others that You intend us to be.  Open us to see the value in a hard journey, a young mother and an Infant born to change us all.  Amen

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