Treasure the Christ of the nativity

By Helen Guilford

A few years ago, our church merged with another of the same denomination. It took me quite a while to feel at home. As I was settling in I looked around and found only a few of my specific age group. Then one staunch lady left us for her home in heaven. I began to seriously look over the old folks of the congregation.

I soon discovered the oldest is a dear gentleman who was always faithful in attendance. Then COVID! The pandemic closed church doors. That dear one, like the rest of us, stayed home on Sundays and since our church re-opened, he has not yet returned. That’s okay. He does not feel comfortable about safety. Many others have also not returned.

The next oldest by a mere three months is a lady who was in our congregation before the merge. She and I, then, are the two oldest worshipers in our church. Now comes my birthday.

I anticipate it as I feel 90 is quite a milestone.

I don’t like being the last one in my generation. So many questions arise and there isn’t anyone left to ask. I find the younger family members looking to me for input and realize I don’t know the answers to their questions. I also look at their generation and find I have questions of my own – who belongs in what family? In what order?

Last night I had the joy of handing on a treasured nativity set. I had brought it back from Ecuador. I had seen them and wanted a set. A full set always seemed to be out of my financial reach. One set I could have bought I passed by because the wood from which it was carved didn’t match within the set. I waited. Finally, before our mission trips there ended, I found a nice set and brought it home.

Funny, doing something like that, I didn’t look ahead and wonder who would want and/or get this when I die. I hadn’t had it on display for a couple of years and I’m downsizing. When I last put it away, I had typed a bit of explanation and last night it brought a chuckle when it was shared. I was delighted to give it to this niece who, with her daughter, had been with me on one of those mission trips. It seemed so fitting. The set is to be treasured because it is hand-carved from the hardest wood in the Amazon jungle.

This niece does treasure it! It will always have a good home and will always be a center of worship – both this Christmas season and in seasons yet ahead.

In all of our decorating, let’s be careful to truly treasure the Christ child who is at the very center of the season. As has oft been repeated, He is the Reason for the season. Give Him first place – not just during the Christmas season, but first place in your heart in every season.

He was born of a human for the express purpose of living as a man and giving up His life’s blood to purchase our salvation. Know Him and know the joy of life everlasting.

By Helen Guilford