Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

 It took all the effort Little Grass had, but he finally did it. The dirt that had surrounded him since birth no longer held him. He pushed through to the sunlight. Now he could grow tall. He could wave in the breeze with the other grasses and be drenched by the spring rains. He could feel the warmth of the sun’s rays cover him and stretch towards the sky. He grew and grew and grew. Life was great.

Then one day men came swinging large sharp things. Ouch! They whacked him off at the roots and bundled him up with the other grasses next to him.

“What is to happen to us?”

Another stalk of grass stacked under him sighed. “I have heard stories. This is the end, my friend. No more water will seep up into our veins because we have no roots. They will dry us out. We will become yellow and brittle.”

“No,” Little Grass trembled. “There has to be more. We must have a purpose.”

Another grass laying next to them laughed, but it was not a happy laugh. It sounded harsh and sad. “Our purpose is to be consumed. Either the animals will eat us so they can grow, our we will be thrown over coals and caught on fire so others can be warm.”

Yet another groaned. “We don’t matter. We’re worthless now. This is the end.”

“I don’t believe you. Any of you.” Little Grass straightened himself as long as he could. “We have more purpose than that. We have to. Why else would we have struggled so hard to push out of the darkness? We have found the sunlight and have bent towards it.”

“Yes, and all for nothing. The sun will now bare down on us and parch us until not a drop of moisture is left in our veins. We will become yellow and brittle. Dead. Why did we ever push out of the ground?”

Ropes were tied around the grasses and they were lifted high onto the back of animals.  Little Grass craned to see where they were going. “I had no idea the world was so big. All I could see was the tops of other grasses. Now I can see trees, and birds and mountains. Oh, this is wonderful.”

The other grasses moaned. “He just doesn’t get it, does he?”

Next, the grasses were spread out onto the dirt. The sun’s heat gleamed down onto them day after day. The little grass could feel all the water in his veins leaving him. He tried to keep it in, but the heat was stronger. He felt drained, thirsty. His stalk became stiff. No breeze flowed over him. He no longer could dance in the wind.  “But, at least this is making me stronger, less bendable. Maybe there is a reason. I have to believe that.”

The other grasses sighed. “He’ll learn. The worse is yet to come.”

A few days later, men came and gathered the grasses together again. Up onto back of another animal they went. Little Grass rode on the very top, and he was so happy to be on this adventure, but the other grasses grumbled and whined. They traveled over fields and across a stream of water. At night, the stars shone down on them as their animal carrier and the men rested. One star gleamed so much brighter than all the others.

“Oh, look at that.” Little Grass gasped. “I have never seen such a beautiful sight.”

The next day the bundle of grasses journeyed over a hill and down into a valley. Then, at dusk, the animal carrying the grasses stopped. People shuffled by, their sandals kicking up dirt. There were so many of them, and other animals, too. Where were they all going? A building up ahead had lanterns shining in its windows. They looked sort of like the stars.

“Are we going in there? Into that golden light?”

“No.” One of the other grasses sighed. “We will be in the stable. Soon the animals will eat us and we will die.”

The little piece of grass shook its stalk. “I don’t believe that. Something else will happen to us — something wonderful. We were made for another reason. I just know it.”

Then, a man gathered the grasses and spread them in a manager. “There. In the morning, the animals will have a feast.”

The grasses all whimpered and told each other goodbye. All except the little piece of grass.

In the middle of the night, strange noises woke the grasses. A donkey came in with a man and a woman. She groaned and huffed deep breaths. His voice was soothing and calm. Then, after a while, a third voice sounded—a soft babbling. It came from a very small human.

The woman took off her shawl, wrapped the wiggly baby in it and laid it on top of the Little Grass and the others. Immediately a warm glow spread through them. They became soft again, not stiff and scratchy.

“Oh, “Little Grass began to smile. “He has made us alive again.”

They wrapped their stalks around this child to keep him warm.

The grasses heard beautiful voices singing from above. Day and night, people came to look at the baby hugged by the grasses. They bowed and worshiped him as his parents stood by smiling.

“Praise be to God He found us this dry stable and these warm, soft grasses in which to lay his son, Jesus. “ The man gazed down at the grasses.

The people all echoed him. “Praise be to God for the stable and the grasses.”

A small amount of moisture left deep inside Little Grass formed into a drop, like a tear of joy.

“See, I knew we had a special purpose.”

The other grasses glowed with happiness and cuddled themselves around this child of God and worshipped him the only way they could — just by being there for His use.

For Scripture says… I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth. Romans 9:17

May The Lord bless you this Christmas and reveal His purpose for you in the upcoming year.                    

  Julie B Cosgrove

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Here is my Christmas story for 2015.  May Christ bring you a deeper peace this season. Julie Cosgrove.

00436172Plenty of Room

            Julie B Cosgrove            

Janice Hanson huffed through her bangs. How dare the caterer cancel two days before the biggest Christmas event of the season? Sure, her son’s car had been T-boned by a drunk driver, but it is not as if she had to keep vigil by his hospital bed. He lay in a medically induced coma for Heaven’s sake. She stomped through the marbled floor foyer, her stilettos clicking like flamenco castanets. Well, she’d better get her money back. The menu had cost her plenty.

Pausing to take in another deep breath to squelch the rising anxiety, she scanned the room. At least the decorator remained on the ball. The crew scuffled like ants to deck the halls, literally, as well as the main parlor, dining room, ballroom and veranda—just in case the warm front actually arrived as predicted. Four foot tall silver coated reindeer nestled in a grouping on the massive, round mahogany table perched in the center as it had been for the past four generations of her husband’s family. This soiree meant everything to his floundering consulting business. Pull it off and both of their appointment calendars for 2106 would fill—hers socially, his for business lunches, after work pow-wows, and rounds of golf. Let be lackluster and barely get a mention in the upcoming society section, or worst get a full half column of scathing criticism, and next year they’d be lucky to celebrate the holidays in their hunting cabin wearing charity shop flannel and eating canned beans. Plenty rode on this to be a success.

Two more workers wheeled in four dozen potted poinsettias in the burgundy jingle bell variety as well as baby blue, the latest in hothouse husbandry. Ribbons in silver, maroon and robin’s egg intertwined in the fragrant bows of hypo-allergenic, chemical-free evergreen strands. White amaryllis, promised to be in full bloom on Christmas Eve, by the time the chamber orchestra’s first melodic note struck, dotted the side tables. The dining table decorations would be made fresh the day of the party. And there’d be plenty of cheer flowing from the bubbly champagne fountain.

Janice punched in the number on her cell phone. Tapping her foot, she hissed, “Please be able to help. Please.” Her acquaintance and bored empty-nester Charlotte always got elongated eye rolls and smiles for her scrumptiously original hor d’oeuvres and decadent deserts.  She’d been thinking of starting her own business anyway, and this might be the shove she needed. Janice would be hailed the philanthropist of the year for launching her. Beatrice, her own cook, could roll up her sleeves and assist for an extra grand in her bonus check this year. Perfect.

“Oh, hi, Charlotte. I need a huge favor. But in fact, I may just be doing an even bigger one for you…” 

Janice walked into the butler’s pantry and, in revived multitasking mode, counted the Spode dinner, dessert and salad plates as she spoke. Protocl demanded at least three square feet per person to avoid overcrowding into personal spaces. She did the math. Two thousand on the main level for one hundred ninety-two guests. Plenty of room.

                                                                                     *  *  *

Bob curled next to the stoop, wedging himself away from the door so people wouldn’t whack it into his shins. The recessed entryway broke the winds blowing in from the north. He tucked his threadbare, third-hand coat around his torso and drew his knees tighter. People dashed along the sidewalk, their eyes either straight ahead with set jaws of determination, or buried in the screen of some electronic device. No one made contact or chatted. Funny. He recalled as a kid everyone at least waved when he and his mom passed by. But then, she’d been a pillar of the community. She hadn’t guzzled her paycheck as he did, when he had one. This time of the year stabbed him deeply. Long since devoid of wife and kids, he had no one to share the joys of the season with, except a few other downbeat and deadbeat derelicts as himself who crowded the shelter for a hot holiday meal.

“Umph.” The door whammed into his knee.

The woman glared at him as if he were made of black mold. She sniffed and turned her gaze away. He’d seen it a hundred times, but today, the gesture pierced his heart a few more inches. Tomorrow would be the 24th. Two days before Christmas and the day he’d walked the aisle with the girl of his dreams fifteen years ago. Did she recall it? Sure, and probably with a shudder for being such a naïve fool to marry the likes of him. They’d had such dreams before an on-the-job injury left him hooked on booze and pain killers when their two kids were three and five. They now must be, what? Twelve and fifteen? It’d been six years since he saw any of them. Four since he read in the paper left on a park bench of her nuptials to husband number two, a middle manager for a major electronics store.

Bob rose to his feet and shook off the sharp shoots of icy pain darting down his right leg from his lower back. Walk it off. That helped the best. What else did he have to do, anyway? Two hours until the daily soup kitchen opened, and then if lucky, he’d make it further enough in line to be given one of the twenty-five first-come-basis cots for the second time in a week.

He passed a man clanging a bell over a bright red stew pot. People mostly ignored him, but a few tossed a coin or two in the top slot. They made eye contact. The man gave him an understanding nod.    

That’s right. Con them into giving. I need a hot meal. Ho, ho, ho.

                                                                                      *  *  *

Charlotte’s eyes flooded with tears. A few drops cascaded down the flour smudge on her cheek.  She wasn’t used to this hi-faluting confectionary oven. Black edged petite croissants stuffed with pumpkin walnut soufflé and a dollop of papaya relish hissed on the tray.

“Oh, no. NO!” Janie stood hands on hip in her whisper blue and silver evening gown with garnet and sapphire necklace with matching earrings.

“I’m so sorry. I don’t know what…”

Her arms circled like a helicopter in distress. “Well, do something, Charlotte! The guests arrive in twenty minutes.”

The mansion’s cook, Essie, clucked her teeth. “We’ll make it right, Mrs. H.” She pushed the air with her hands. “Now you scoot on out of here and leave it to us.”

“But there isn’t time. These took two hours to prepare, and…”

The wiser woman wiped her hands on her apron. “…And so, we chop off the ends. Then we’ll drizzle them in caramel sauce and plate them at angle in a pinwheel fashion. No one will be the wiser.”

“Good thinking.” The two set out with a new plan, ignoring the sage-rubbed Cornish game hens sizzling in the oven. Until the smoke alarm sounded as the first wave of guests shed their coats.

                                                                             *  *  *

The fire department, police and other emergency entourage flooded the mansion, shuffling white tuxedos and ball gowns outside in the frigid, damp air, minus their outerwear. Janie slumped to the stoop, her mascara streaking down both cheeks. Her dashing, just-enough-gray at-the temples hubby stood over her. “Can’t you do one thing right? You knew the importance of this party.”

Janie let out a guttural scream twisted her diamond wedding set from her finger and tossed it in his face. Her guests looked on in horror and disdain. She felt their eyes boring into her soul. She ran, stilettos in hand, out the front door, down the curved driveway and out the main gates to gain as much distance from their biting comments as possible. The cold air penetrated her lungs like a hundred miniscule daggers. On she went, ignoring the runs crawling up her calves from her twenty-five dollar hosiery. Her legs propelled her as gulps of hot tears fought for breath.

She had no idea which way she headed. She didn’t care. Maybe this street would end in a lake and she’d keep running until her feet no longer touched bottom. Then she’d sink into oblivion and not resurface until the spring thaw.

Her pace slowed as exhaustion set in. Each leg dragged as she willed one foot to lift, then the other. The chilled night prickled her bare shoulders. Sweat drizzled down her back and morphed into icy fingers. Clouds of her breath preceded her steps. Janice stopped to get her bearings. An alleyway lay ahead—dark, gloomy and foreboding. Exactly like my future.

A rattle of a trash can caught her attention as a feral cat jumped and hissed his dislike of her intrusion.

“Join the club, you mangy feline. Exactly what everyone else is saying about me right now.”

The scrawny, matted-hair beast sauntered off, his crooked tail high. Janice sunk to the ground and wept, her fingers clawing the damp, muddy asphalt.

A hand pressed her shoulder.

“Lady, you okay?”

She shook her head, not willing to put forth the energy to raise her gaze. “I don’t have a purse. If you want these jewels, take them.” She yanked off the necklace and dangled it in the direction of the male voice.

“You look mighty cold.”

Janice felt the weight of a body-warmed cloth drape over her. The stench almost made her gag. Days-old body odor, dust and a few other aromas her brain couldn’t register assaulted her nostrils. Yet she pulled the coat over her with one hand, welcoming the relief it brought. She pivoted to sit on her backside, legs tucked underneath her right hip. “Who are you?”

The beggar shrugged. His scraggly beard glistened with dew droplets snatched from the foggy atmosphere. Behind him a street lamp cast a hazy yellow glow, almost like an eerie halo. He lowered his hand, outstretched. “Soup kitchen’s open. You hungry?”

Her stomach responded with a deep rumble. The man snickered and pumped his fingers. “We’d better hurry before they run out and there ain’t no more room. I’ll pocket these jewels for safe keeping. Better give me the earrings, too.”

She didn’t know why, or perhaps she simply didn’t care at this point, but Janice obeyed. She twisted the dangling garnets and sapphires from her earlobes and plopped them into his hand. He helped her slide her arms into his jacket.

“You ain’t got any shoes.”

Janice looked down. “I think I dropped them a few miles back.” She grimaced as she bit one side of her lip.

He reared back and laughed. “Okay, girlie. You stick with me. Name’s Bob by the way.”


He placed a gentle hand on her middle back. “This way, Janice. Maybe they’ll have a phone and you can call your family.”

She tugged the ends of the coats further around her body. “No. They don’t care now anyway.” Her voice quivered. “I have failed them, failed them all.”

Bob’s tone softened. “Know the feeling. Come on, then.”

They entered a back doorway into a brightly lit room. A Christmas tree twinkled in the corner. Hums of voices filled the rafters almost drowning out the carols being played over two loud speakers. People with green aprons and red elf hats dished soup and bread to a line of scraggly souls—some young, some old, male and female, black and white.

Janice halted as the smiles and laughter thawed her from the inside out.

“Ladies first. I’ll make sure no one bothers you.”

She shuffled along, just one more lost person, forgotten and alone at Christmas. She kept her eyes focused on the woman’s tennis shoes in front of her, soles worn and heels frayed. Bob stood behind her in a protective mode, close enough for her to sense him, and smell him. Somehow, his unwashed stench didn’t gag her as much as it had.

A teenager handed her a bowl, napkin and spoon on a tray. “Merry Christmas.”

She shot the girl a quick smile and moved ahead in line. Hot vegetable and chicken soup ladled by one cellophane-gloved volunteer, followed by a roll handed to her by another. At the end of the line, a thin wedge of pumpkin pie with a puff of canned whipped cream landed on her tray. Tears welled as she recalled how horrid she’d been to Charlotte. To take on such a last minute task of that enormity must have overwhelmed her friend. What a ghoul she’d been to her.

She slurped her food in silence, pushing away the guilt which crept into her wealthy shallowness of an attitude. She took for granted all she had—the bulging lager of gourmet foods and the fine kitchen and staff to prepare them. Then she whined because of some burnt tipped appetizers that probably cost as much as the soup and bread the volunteers doled out in this small auditorium.  In contrast, these folks, who possessed so little, seemed grateful for this one meal.

Bob cast a glance at her every once in a while, but left her to her thoughts.

Then a screech penetrated the quiet. A pastor tapped the microphone and offered a prayer. Behind him children shuffled to position. The radio quieted and a single C note plinked on an old upright piano. Slightly swaying out of sync, the wide-eyed little ones dressed in their Christmas sweaters sang two or three familiar carols as a woman crouched below the stage and kept time with her hands. People applauded at the end of each song.

The pastor grinned. “Because it’s Christmas, we have acquired fifty more cots, complete with blankets. We will clear out this dining area to make room. After all, one night long ago, some animals made room for a pregnant woman and her child. It is because of Him we celebrate this night. You see, He wants nothing more than for you to make room in your heart for Him.”

Then, the small choir ended with Silent Night as the lights dimmed and volunteers passed out handheld candles along with a baggie of chocolates and a Scripture card for each homeless guest.

Janice held her plastic sack to her chest and allowed the tears to flow. She couldn’t recall a Christmas so filled with love and caring.

“Hey, what’s wrong?”

“I ‘ve been blessed with so much and I ignored it. And now, because of my stupidity, I may have lost it all.”

Bob clutched her hand as tears shimmered.

“What is it?”

“I loved drugs and booze more than my family. Now I have no one. Don’t let that happen to you.”

The pastor enveloped him in a side hug. “You have one person, Bob. And He will never leave you. He came into this world for you, friend. You and all of us here in this room.” He winked. “Even you, ma’am.  No matter your story. There is plenty of room in His heart for everyone.”

Her lips quivered into a smile. “You all are in possession of something more precious than I ever had. And I have been considered by most to be one of the more privileged.” Janice whispered into Bob’s ear.

 He dug into his pocket and deposited her platinum gold set jewels into her hand.

“Here.” She handed them to the minister. “Payment for my meal, and all of this.” Her hands swept the room.

The man stuttered.  “Can we call someone for you?”

“Tomorrow, maybe. But tonight, I’d love a cot and the warmth of all of you. Thanks to Bob’s kind heart and your giving attitudes, I have rediscovered what this season means.”

Bob blushed as a grin etched the corners of his mouth. “Can’t recall when anyone ever thanked me for anything.”

The pastor winked. “You’re welcome to stay. Plenty of room.”







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       Jane decided to cancel Christmas this year. Too bad no one else was.  If only she could ignore the classic movies and the endless commercials on TV, not to mention the lights and decorations along the streets, in the stores, down the grocery aisles…. Every candy cane, angel and jolly little elf flipped her stomach. It seemed it all started earlier and earlier every year.

        Buy, buy buy. That’s all Christmas had become. She and her four children were eking by okay. There were a few dollars left at the end of each month for a day at the movies, or dinner out, or maybe a new piece of clothing.  But she didn’t have a credit card and she couldn’t afford to line a Christmas tree skirt with presents. Hey, she couldn’t afford the price of a Christmas tree—yikes! She shuddered as she walked past the lot of evergreens for sell.

       The damp, chilled air whipped through her coat. She snugged the collar closer to her neck as she walked to the bus stop. She drudged through her daily routine ignoring the escalated chatter and the smidgen of tinsel and bling several people added to their desks. The poster of Betsy’s Chihuahua dressed in a Santa suit and panting for a candy cane almost made her lose her appetite. Ugh.  May as well forget packing a lunch until after the holidays. Then again, maybe she’d be the one individual in the U.S. to actually lose weight during December. 

       Thank goodness she worked for a company that frowned on Christmas parties and gift exchanges. Ever since three guys in the accounts payable department got plastered on spiked eggnog and printed everyone’s bonus with an extra zero in it…. Would she get a bonus this year? The company had been Scrooge-like the past two holidays. When she began to work there eleven years ago everyone used to get a gift certificate for a 15 pound turkey and a week’s pay. Two days before Christmas Eve, Jane woke with a stone bouncing in her gut. An envelope with the company logo lay on her computer keyboard. Inside was a twenty dollar bill in a glitzy card that sang Jingle Bells

         No matter. She stuffed it in her purse. Besides, her kids were all too old to get excited about Santa, reindeer and stockings. Being ages ten through fourteen, she didn’t expect any of them to crawl blurry-eyed from their bed covers until at least 11 am. Well, maybe you never get too old for stockings. Perhaps the dollar discount store?

         Jane pushed the wobbly-wheeled grocery cart through the aisles. You could hear the squeak-thunk-squeak three aisles over. She scrunched down as she browsed, ignoring the eyes that followed her. One lady actually curled her lip and rolled her eyes. Okay, so you never get the one with the shaky wheels? Happy holidays to you, too.

     Perhaps she could afford to buy a bag of chocolates and a box of candy canes to share. And a pair of socks for each of them. How about a 5,000 piece puzzle they could put together Christmas morning? Would that be too lame?

   Hey, frozen pizzas were buy one get one free. She could heat up the pizzas and they’d crowd around on the floor of the living room putting the puzzle together, each wearing their new socks, stuffing their faces with pepperoni and chocolates.  That might work. Jane couldn’t think of the last time all four of them spent a whole day together. The kids were always so busy. Jed had band and soccer, Josie ballet, Jeremy had little theatre, and Jez had volleyball and choral. 

   The store was jam-packed with shoppers. So many people, so much noise. Jane watched the woman in front of her load toys, candy, wrapping paper, junk food, and clothes onto the conveyor belt. Then she grabbed six $50 gift cards! Jane stared into the floor with a clamped jaw to keep from it swinging open in amazement. How could people rack up their credit card bills like that?  It’d take her all year to pay off that stuff—if she had one, that is.  No thank you. Not exactly a “ho,ho, ho” way to spend Christmas to her. More like “owe, owe, owe.”

As she walked to the bus, her store bags dangling from her arm, a man handed her a flyer.  “Mission Gospel needs YOU. Come help feed the less fortunate and homeless Christmas afternoon from 1-4. Share in eggnog, carols, stories and games. All ages over six welcome to volunteer.”  Jane set down her groceries and started at the faces from last year’s event displayed on the fold-out. They all seemed to gleam with joy. When was the last time her kids faces looked like that? Or hers, for that matter. When did any of us do something for someone else? And all this time she’d whined about her family’s circumstances. They were so much better off than any of these people in the pamphlet.

        She tapped in the phone number and raised her cell phone to her ear. The recording asked her to press one if she wanted to volunteer. Then it asked for how many would be coming. She clicked her fingernail on 5. With a grin almost reaching her dimple she shoved her phone in her purse. 

        Christmas Day arrived cold but sunny. She tapped on the kids’ bedroom doors at 11:00 a.m. “Time to come down stairs. It’s Christmas.” With wide yawns the kids trudged into the living room. The smell of cinnamon and apple oatmeal reached their noses. At each place setting lay a small stocking with socks, candy and a pamphlet inside. “What’s this, Mom?” Jed flipped it over.

        “It’s how we’re spending Christmas. Helping other people find joy. Maybe we’ll find a little of it, too. So eat up, and then go throw on some clothes. We leave in one hour.”  Four pair of eyes looked at her with expressions ranging from “Mom’s finally lost it” to “Do I have to?”  She chose to ignore them.

    When they arrived at the Mission Gospel, the laughter and music filled their ears. The doors opened to a brightly lit room crammed with people. The aroma of turkey with all the fixings whiffed through the air. Jane shuffled her kids to the volunteer table.  “It won’t be so bad. Just three hours and we’ll leave.”

      Halfway through the afternoon as she wiped down the tables, Jane spotted two of her kids showing some small children how to blow bubbles. Jed held a small boy on his lap while reading a story to a half-circle of others seated on the floor. Jez brushed a girl’s hair and tied a ribbon in it. All of them had smiles stretching to their cheeks.

     That evening they sat on the floor, surrounded by pizza remnants and a half-finished puzzle. Their eyes sparkled as they sang acapella carols, led by Jez. Little Jeremy threw his arms around Jane’s neck. “This is the best Christmas ever, Mom.”

Josie nodded “Yes, it is. Can we do this next year, too?”

Jane’s eyes dampened as she gazed into each shining face. “Absolutely. I can hardly wait.”


                            May you find God in Christmas this year…. blessings.  Julie

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This year, my body didn’t want Christmas. In fact, it rejected everything, either up or down for three days except IVs and ice chips. No eggnog. No Tamales (a true Texas tradition.) No candy or plum ID-10087293pudding.No warm smiles during the children’s pageant as kids tugged on over-sized bathrobes and stumbled over their lines. No Christ’s Mass by candlelight singing Silent Night Family and friends avoided me – as well they should have. 

I faded in and out of restless sleep. The carpet between my bed and the bathroom is now well matted with footprints.

But, God still reigns. Strip away the glistening ornament-laden tree, the candy canes, the traditions and even the church services, and somehow Christmas was still there. I saw Christmas in the gentle hands of the nurse in the ER clinic as she patiently needled my arm to receive fluids, even though my veins had collapsed from dehydration. I saw Christmas in the smile of a kind doctor who treated me as his only patient when he had a packed waiting room, many with the same stomach flu as I.  I saw Christmas in my son who was at my beck and call while juggling work, and in his boss who told him to be with me on Christmas Eve in the ER instead of waiting on customers during the busiest time of the year in their store. I saw Christmas in the love oozing from the concerned  texts and emails, and the understanding that I was not up to even talking on the phone, thank you.

No, this is not how I planned to spend Christmas. But, in a way it was a very meaningful one for me. Despite the ravaging virus inside my body, Christ was there as well. Emmanuel. God with us.

I hope this Christmas you found God in your day, too…no matter how it turned out. May each day be an Emmanuel day.

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Christmas is not about what we can do – or should do – or even want to do! Christmas is about what God  has done and continues to do, in His saving love for us  It is not something we deserve, nor is it anything we can make happen. It is pure gift – pure grace – pure love!

We can only receive it with a thankful heart. It is deliverance from bondage and darkness and death, for all eternity.

The Rt. Rev. Jack Leo Iker
Third Bishop of Fort Worth
Christmas 2013

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