DayBreaks for 12/20/17: Christmas Surprises

Image result for Christmas presents

DayBreaks for 12/20/17: Christmas Surprises

Who doesn’t enjoy opening presents on Christmas day? Let’s be honest: we all love it, don’t we? We wonder what’s inside that package, box or envelope. We love surprises!

Under a cultural-exchange program, rabbi Alan Abramsky and his family in Roanoke, Texas, were hosts to a rabbi from Russia at Christmas time. They decided to introduce him to a culinary treat that was probably not available in his country: they took him to their favorite Chinese restaurant.

Throughout the meal, the rabbi spoke excitedly about the wonders of North America in comparison to the bleak conditions in his homeland. When they had finished eating, the waiter brought the check and presented each of them with a small brass Christmas-tree ornament as a seasonal gift.

They all laughed when Abramsky’s father pointed out that the ornaments were stamped “Made in India.” But the laughter subsided when they saw that the rabbi was quietly crying. Concerned, Abramsky’s father asked the rabbi if he was offended because he’d been given a gift for a Christian holiday.

He smiled, shook his head and said, “Nyet. I was shedding tears of joy to be in a wonderful country in which a Buddhist gives a Jew a Christmas gift made by a Hindu!” A time of miracles. A time for stories.

From time to time we hear someone say, “Wouldn’t it be great if it could be Christmas all year long.” Surprise! That was God’s intent. That is why God invaded our planet and gave us the gift of God’s Son. There is only one thing that stands in the way of celebrating Christmas all year long: you and I. Let’s agree to not stand in the way of anyone celebrating Christmas all year long!

PRAYER:  Jesus, we don’t want to cause people not to celebrate Immanuel all year long, year after year, decade after decade. Let us never lost the sense of the miraculous that is so present in this season. Let us overflow each and every day out of lives that are filled with wonder. In Jesus’ name, Amen.  

Copyright by 2017 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

Advertisements

DayBreaks for 12/25/14 – Paltry Gifts

DayBreaks for 12/25/14 – Paltry Gifts It is Christmas morning.  For most of us, there are presents under the tree and squeals of childish delight (not always coming from the little ones!)  We give gifts to those we love and appreciate on this day.  Why?  Well, it all started long, long ago in a village far, far away… 

Matthew 2:9-11 (NLT) After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. 

The wise men (or magi) came to see a king.  And they did.  Only it wasn’t the kind of king that they planned to encounter.  They found a King all right, but far more.  They had prepared to meet a king.  But, as Todd Agnew asks in his song, “How do you prepare to meet the Lord?” 

They brought with them perhaps the finest gifts they could think of or afford: gold, frankincense and myrrh.  They were not paltry gifts by earthly standards, but as Todd Agnew sang, “We brought Him gold, frankincense and myrrh, when riches untold he left behind…”  No one can possibly know how true of a statement that was!  As much as Mary and Joseph must have been stunned by the extravagance of the gifts, God wasn’t.  The baby in the manger wasn’t.  To Him, the presents were mere trifles.  

What have you brought to Jesus this Christmas season?  Have you brought gold, frankincense and myrrh, or their modern day equivalent?  Perhaps you feel that you gave Him gift by attending a Christmas eve service – that maybe you did Him a favor by doing so.  You haven’t.  You didn’t.  

God never wanted the gold and other presents.  What He wanted was the hearts of the wise men and Mary and Joseph and the shepherds in the fields.  And that is what He wants from you and from me…our hearts.  The wise men apparently “got it” as they came to worship Him…to give the praise of their heart and lips to the Christ Child.  

That, my friends, is what He wants from you and me not just today, but always and forever.  To God, that is the most precious gift in the universe that we could possibly give to Jesus.  Will you give it to Him? 

Full lyrics to “God With Us” can be found here.   To listen to the song, click here. 

Merry CHRISTmas to you all! 

PRAYER: Lord, it isn’t easy to give my heart fully, as much as I would like to!  I struggle to keep a bit of it for myself and I try to appease You with substitute gifts that are paltry and trivial.  As I go through this day, this coming year and the rest of my life, help me surrender more and more of my heart to You each day! In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations! Your support would be deeply appreciated!