Posted by: Rex Boyles | December 2, 2007

“More than 12 days …”

December is a “magic” month  for children. Christmas trees … lights … carols. Santa is coming to town …

I mention it, because even though I am no longer a child (far from it) and have been Santa longer than I ever believed in Santa … I enjoy Christmas cheer (more than just those 12 days of Christmas).

I hate the shopping, especially at the Mall. But I have loved (and still do) the look on my children’s and g-kids’ faces – early on our Christmas morning. That sense of wonder and delight makes all the shopping and spending worth it. It is especially wonderul and delightful … when the gift you give … surprises them and gives them that “just what I wanted” feeling. You can see it in their faces – even before you hear them say it.

I have received such great gifts:

  • A second-hand bicycle, repainted silver, when there wasn’t enough money for a new one. (My dad spent all Christmas day, teaching how to ride it.) 
  • A 410 shotgun, when I was too young to have one, but I knew that it meant my parents trusted me.
  • A class ring … a graduation ring … from a school of preaching – almost 5 years after I graduated – that I never asked for, but my mother wanted me to have it.
  • A glass fishing pole with an open-faced reel, the one my father used for years – that I never asked for, but he wanted me to have it.
  • A family picture, even after I had behaved so shamefully that I deserved no family – that I wanted (even needed), and there we are: David and Rebekah … Cheri and Larry … Brooke, William, and Titus (God hadn’t given us Lily, yet).

But the greater gifts I have received were not wrapped in Christmas paper:

  • A handshake from my father, when my parents took me to college, that turned into a hug – when they accepted me back home not long ago.
  • A whispered secret in my ear from my mother, “I will never be ashamed of you, Rexy” – that she has never kept a secret.
  • A bear-hug from my son … more than once – when he needed me or when I needed him.
  • A hand in my hand from my daughter … more than once – from the day she learned to walk to the last time we walked anywhere together.
  • A squeal of delight – “Papa” – from Brooke, William, Titus, and Lily … every time they see me.

But the greatest gifts:

  • The Father, who saw me from “afar” and came running to welcome me home.
  • The Savior, who is Christ the Lord … born in Bethlehem, raised in Nazareth, followed in Galilee, crucified in Jerusalem, and exalted in glory.
  • The Spirit, who lives in me and refused to leave me – who intercedes for me, helping me in my weaknesses – and who gifted me with a heart to teach.
  • The Book that from Genesis to Maps builds my faith … restores my hope … defines my love.
  • The Church that welcomed me into the Kingdom … prepared me to preach … sent me around the world … allowed me to rest, so that I could heal … joins me in my “rest of my life’s mission” to be a friend to sinners. 

  I hope you have received such great, greater, and greatest gifts. I would love to hear about gifts you have received that have made you sigh or laugh – “just what I wanted”. But I also want to be the kind of person, who gives such gifts.         

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