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In the early 70’s Linda and I were at my Mom and Dad’s for Christmas. We had no children. My Dad pastored 65 years, 42 in Frankfort, Ky. There were 5 of us children. We had a traditional spot where we all sat around the tree. Mom, my wife and my sister distributed the gifts to each person. The gifts accumulated at each persons’ feet. Dad had a prayer of thanks for God’s bountiful love and blessings. Then we all opened our gifts. We were very careful about throwing away the wrapping paper. Each person thanked the givers.

When it was all over and I got alone to thank God for the GIFT OF HIS ONLY SON. My eyes were opened. There were gifts for Mom, Dad and each person in the crowded room. Wow! WHERE WAS JESUS’ BIRTHDAY GIFTS. I was a school teacher at the time. I thought and even cried THERE WAS NO ROOM FOR JESUS IN THE INN. THE SAD CONTINUES. The was not one present under the tree for Jesus. THE LIGHT CAME ON IN MY HEAD… IT IS NOT MY BIRTHDAY, IT IS JESUS’ BIRTHDAY. I did not mean to disappoint Jesus and I quietly repented. I SAID NEVER AGAIN WOULD OUR TREE NOT HAVE A BIRTHDAY PRESENT FOR JESUS.

I do not do vows. But I said: GOD IF I EVER HAVE THE CHANCE TO TEACH THE LAST SUNDAY OF NOVEMBER I WOULD TELL ALL TO PREPARE A SPECIAL GIFT TO LAY AT JESUS’ FEET FOR HIS BIRTHDAY. I have kept that promise to this day. I have pastored 44 years and I have been truth to my promise. I would like to pour out my heart to you this day and ask each person to have a GIFT UNDER THEIR TREE FOR JESUS’ BIRTHDAY.

The next year I was teaching school I asked my students to prepare on purpose a gift for Jesus. I had a jail ministry, I promised the Lord with his help I would make an effort to win 10 souls for the cross. The was a hard task, but Christmas morning there were 10 names under the tree. One year we had two sons and we practiced for a month on a song, we picked out “UNTIL THEN.” One Christmas we practiced an instrumental song. We went to the rest homes and some old people’s house. One year we went “WASSILING” and caroling with the young people, we sang and shared WASSIL, apple cider. One year I promised to read the entire Bible in the Month of December, on December 31 I completed the Bible.

MY LESSON IS NOT ABOUT MY GIVING… MY LESSON IS WILL YOU THINK ABOUT GIVING SOMETHING TO THE LORD. Some have been blessed to give a special offering? Others can cook and for the month of December you can cook several times and share a meal, cookies or something? There are lonely elderly people all around. Maybe you could visit in the rest home several times?

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