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Thoughts from our team...

All gifts worth possessing

December 4, 2023

From Pastor Joe

When I was a young lad, my family used a silver, artificial Christmas tree every year. Each branch was stuck into the trunk of the tree one at a time. We had a lit color wheel that turned and shone four different colors on the tree. These were special effects for the 1960s. I grew up without ever having the experience of putting up a real Christmas tree.

Our first Christmas together as husband and wife, Vonnie and I decided to purchase a real tree. It was much bigger when we took it home than it looked in the lot. We had an upstairs apartment, so I had to lug it upstairs, where I discovered the trunk of the tree was too big to fit in the stand we had bought. I didn’t own a saw to cut away lower branches to make it fit, so I had to borrow a saw. I was cutting and sweating and that night, I discovered “the gift of tongues”-with many different spicy words escaping my lips as I attempted to jam that stupid tree into that stupid stand.


By the time the tree was up, we were arguing and angry with each other. We had seen people hang candy canes on their trees, so we decided to do it too. But we unwrapped the candy canes, which made them, over the course of the next week or two, drip their sweet nectar all over our carpet, never to be totally removed. So from that year on, we went to being fake tree buyers-artificial would be a classier word.


What should have been a great time; our first Christmas together, became a memory of one disaster after another. I have nightmares about it and now hate the song “Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree” The Christmas spirit was lost for a brief moment as I was distracted by preparation, sweat and glitter.


It’s easy to be distracted at Christmas time by glittery things-things calling for attention, things that seem important, things that cause us to lose focus on the truly important things. The holidays are an excellent time to reevaluate and give thanks for all you have. No great gift ever came wrapped up in paper. All gifts worth possessing and sharing come wrapped up in flesh and blood-like family, friends, and the gift of Jesus as Savior, wrapped in swaddling clothes.


Enjoy your holiday my friends. There are lots of activities and programs planned here at MAC and CARMAN. We want to be part of your festivities. But may your holiday be a time of family, friends, food, faith and fun. There is much to be thankful for. May each day be a blessing and may you see more clearly the great gift God has given you in abundant life in Christ. Blessings to you.


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