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Bob's Christmas Message 2011

BOB'S CHRISTMAS MESSAGE

As the calendar says the year is drawing to a close, the best season is just getting started. Perhaps Christmas is celebrated at this time of year to bring extra joy to the cold wintry days and brighter light to the shorter days.  My life, my hope, my deep inner feelings and beliefs are greatly influenced by Christmas.  The Christmas carols sing truth to me. The birth of God’s son, the gift of his example and his life, his unwavering love for us, and his atoning sacrifice for us.  Christmas is my favorite time of year because it is a source of joy, brightness, good cheer, and love. We think of others more than ourselves.  I think of my father, who passed away in September this year.  He was a very good man.  A person of integrity, hard working, and generous. On that day, I wrote, “Dad made it. He endured. He graduated. He is free of pain and physical limitations. He would tell us to celebrate that. I always tried to honor him. I always loved him. I still love him. And somehow, I love him even more today. And I will tell him that when I see him again.”  One gift of Christmas is knowing there is life beyond this mortal time and that provides great motivation and joy to me.

As a parent or grandparent, is there anything better than seeing the joy on a child’s or grandchild’s face when they open a gift we gave to them? We feel as much or perhaps even more joy than they do. I imagine it is the same with our Heavenly Father when we accept the gifts he offers us.  Gifts of life, both here and beyond, promised through the life and resurrection of his son.  Gifts of unconditional love which show us how to love others.  Gifts of total forgiveness as we recognize our mistakes and try to do better.  Gifts of inspiration as we read his words and communicate through prayer.

We celebrate Christmas, the birth and life of Jesus Christ, the son of God.  We look to Him as the perfect example.  He is the source of love and light and joy.  So sing along with the Christmas carols.  Celebrate their messages.  Show extra patience and kindness to others, both strangers and the estranged, to family and to friends. Feel the love and joy of Christmas and share it with others.
MERRY CHRISTMAS from Bob and Heather Purcell