Archives for posts with tag: christmas

celebrate the homeless

the past few weeks i have been searching and searching for this song. except i thought it was a sermon or a sermon illustration… so i was having a difficult time finding it, as i’m sure you can imagine… but i finally uncovered it. the song is written by Charles Tindley in 1915.

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I have heard of a tree,
a great Christmas tree,
It was fixed in yon Bethlehem’s stall.
The blessings of heaven
for you and for me,
A Christmas present for all.

There is a package for me on that tree,
A precious token that someone loves me,
O yes, I can see,
on Calvary’s Tree,
That there is a package for me.

There is one I behold,
in letters of gold,
It hangs on a limb near to me,
‘Tis labeled “salvation,
and Jesus, I’m told,
has bought that package for me.

There is a package for me on that tree,
A precious token that someone loves me,
O yes, I can see,
on Calvary’s Tree,
That there is a package for me.

There is one just above,
it’s title is love,
It is marked by a deep crimson stain,
for there it was tied by the
Lord when he died,
and glory to his dear name.

There is a package for me on that tree,
A precious token that someone loves me,
O yes, I can see,
on Calvary’s Tree,
That there is a package for me.

Another I see,
it must be for me,
The words “I will help you I read,
While holding His hand,
by faith I can stand,
and this is the package I need.

There is a package for me on that tree,
A precious token that someone loves me,
O yes, I can see,
on Calvary’s Tree,
That there is a package for me.

There are many, I’m sure,
but just this one more
I speak of above all the rest
It spells happy home,
with God near the throne,
A place where the weary shall rest.

“For thousands of years people have been told about God. Many take no notice. In the days long ago, God sent wise ones who explained about Himself with song and with story and with words easily understood. But many, many people closed their ears.

“At last He said, ‘I will send my Son.’ And this is what He did that first Christmas day. God became a man. He came to earth as a baby–to live and grow and laugh and suffer, just like we do. It’s hard to understand God. He’s everywhere. He’s all-powerful. We can see what he does but we cannot see Him.

“But it’s different with Jesus. We can understand Him because we know what a man looks like and feels like. The Bible explains it this way: ‘Jesus is the visible likeness of the invisible God.’

“And He did more than show us God and feel what all of us feel. He took our place on the cross. We all deserve to be punished, but Jesus took our punishment.

“So when I try to think of God and my mind staggers, then I think of Jesus. I read the Bible and see how He taught and healed and how He died so that we could be forgiven; and to make it clear how deadly sin is.

“But He didn’t just die and that was the end of it. He came back to life to prove that He is God, to rescue us and to give us new life. These days God has spoken to us by His Son.

“That’s why God sent Jesus.”

(from “Why God Sent Jesus” in Jungle Doctor’s Fables by Paul White)

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it’s hard to go through the Christmas holidays without thinking ahead to the time when Jesus will come again and destroy this old world and replace it with a brand new one. today i was reading the last few chapters in Revelation and rejoicing that Jesus did come! and that He will come again!

‘After these things I heard what sounded like the loud voice of a vast throng inheaven, saying,

‘“Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,
because his judgments are true and just.
For he has judged the great prostitute
who corrupted the earth with her sexual immorality,
and has avenged the blood of his servants poured out by her own hands!”

‘Then a second time the crowd shouted, “Hallelujah!” The smoke rises from her forever and ever. The twenty-four elders and the four living creaturesthrew themselves to the ground and worshiped God, who was seated on the throne, saying: “Amen! Hallelujah!”

‘Then a voice came from the throne, saying:

‘“Praise our God
all you his servants,
and all you who fear Him,
both the small and the great!”

‘Then I heard what sounded like the voice of a vast throng, like the roar of many waters and like loud crashes of thunder. They were shouting:

‘“Hallelujah!
For the Lord our God, the All-Powerful, reigns!
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him glory,
because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.

‘She was permitted to be dressed in bright, clean, fine linen” (for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints).’

(Revelation 19:1-8, NETBible)

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“Clap your hands, all you nations;
shout to God with cries of joy.
How awesome is the Lord Most High,
the great King over all the earth!
He subdued nations under us,
peoples under our feel.
He chose our inheritance for us,
the pride of Jacob, whom He loved.”

“Say among the nations, ‘The Lord reigns.’
The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
He will judge the peoples with equity.
Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
let the sea resound, and all that is in it;
let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;
they will sing before the Lord, for He comes,
He comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in His truth.”

(from Psalm 47 & 96)

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and that is what Christmas is really about. there is no way you can think about the Baby born in Bethlehem without thinking about that Man who died on the cross for your sins and the King who rules and reigns and will come again one day.

by Fran Merrill
taken from A Story a Day ‘Til Christmas Volume 2

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My eyes must have been as big as the brightly colored balls in the store window as I gazed at all the toys.

Dolls stood in their cardboard boxes, reaching out delicately fashioned little hands and looking straight into my wondering eyes. There were playthings of every description Some I’d never even dreamed of.

Finally my eyes rested on a daintily dressed darling with a pixie face and shining curls. She stood beside a table with tiny cups and saucers with blu flowers.

“Oh!” I must have said aloud. “I love you, little Pixie Face.”
A man was standing there beside me when I finally turned to go.

“Who are you talking to?” he asked softy, smiling gently.

“Pixie Face,” I answered, smoothing out the worn skirt of my uniform. “I mean, the one with the pink organdy dress and bonnet and the white slippers.” I stopped and quickly looked down, embarrassed at saying so much.

He patted my head and I ran down the block towards the Home. I looked back once and he waved at me.

I stopped at the grocer’s and bought the can of baking powder that would make biscuits to fill thirty little tummies–plus the four people who took care of us, of course.

Mrs. Ledford met me at the door. “Hurry. We’ll trim our tree after supper.”

“A real Christmas tree? For us?”

“Yes. A nice man brought it. The other children are making decorations from colored paper and crayons. Would you like to help?”

I went into the hall and looked around. In the playroom the children were making ornaments, but I wanted to see the tree. Carefully I pushed open the parlor door. There it was, tall and beautiful, smelling of cedar and Christmas. I slipped in and sat beside the low fire burning in the hearth. A real Christmas tree. I reached out and touched it and watched the patterns its soft branches made on the wall in the flickering firelight.

I had only seen Christmas trees through other people’s windows. This one was ours. A part of it was mine.

“Little Pixie Face, maybe in the morning you’ll be under some other lucky girl’s tree, holding out your arms to her. But I’ll always love you, Pixie Face.”

The supper bell rang! I shouldn’t be here. How could I get out without the others seeing me? I opened the door a crack. Everyone was busy so I tiptoed out.

I was excited as I sat by my pal, Janie, and ate the biscuits, gravy and potatoes.

“It’s Christmas Eve!” Janie whispered.

“Yes, and we have a tree,” I whispered back.

“Does Santa Clause ever find orphan homes?” she wondered.

“Well, last year we got hair ribbons and combs,” I told her. “And we’ve been pretty good this year.”

“One time we did sneak that apple and took turns biting it.”

“Yeah,” I stifled a giggle as Mrs. Ledford looked my way.

Sometimes I envied my best friend a little. She at least remembered her mother and had once had a real home.

Trimming the tree was something I knew I was going to remember for a long time. Carolers came and I sat in awe while they sang to us. Then someone brought in a basket and we each had a whole apple.

When we ere shooed off to bed, I glanced under the tree where a few presents now rested. Oh, if just once I could unwrap a chocolate bar or a candy cane or book, just for me. Of course, I didn’t have anyone to think of me that I knew of, but I always dreamed that maybe there was someone, somewhere.

It took a long time to get to sleep, and I thought over and over of being handed a pretty ornament and climbing the ladder to hang it just where I wanted. What a wonderful Christmas.

Breakfast was early and then each girl received a pair of plaid knee-hi socks and cup with her name on it. Mine was white with my name in blue. It was the prettiest thing I had ever owned.

I watched some of the other girls open gifts and was happy for each one. There were scarves and stocking caps and books and a few small dolls. Janie got a small purse with a dime in it from her aunt.

We all crowded around as we always did when Suzy opened the larges gift of all from her uncle. Last year she got roller skates and promised that each of us could try them. But my turn never came. There were “ohs” and “ahs” as she unwrapped a m=big silver music box with a dainty fairy on top. She gave us all a piece of gum, too.

We all turned as Mrs. Ledford called, “A present just came for the little girl with the beautiful smile and brown curls.” Everyone looked at me. I stood frozen. She couldn’t mean me. Beautiful smile?

“Come on, Beth,” Mrs. Ledford said smiling.

“Me?”

“Yes. It’s yours.”

“But . . . but I don’t have anyone . . .”

“Come, Beth. Open it carefully.” She set the huge box on the table.

It was for me. Who . . . ? I touched my harelip almost reverently. The sender had made it wound almost beautiful. Never again would I put my hand over my lip or hide when a stranger came near.

My hands shook as I carefully untied the red ribbon and pushed back the wrapping paper. I opened the box and there she was–little Pixie Face.

The girls all gasped, and I just stood there gazing as tears streamed down my face.

“Hi,” I finally whispered to my doll.

“Pick her up,” Mrs. Ledford said softly.

“Oh!” I reached for my Pixie Face and held her close to my heart.

“There’s another box!” Janie said.

There was a small box inside the doll box. It was the set of dishes I had liked in the store window.

I stared to a corner with my treasures and the girls followed.

“Just leave her with her presents for awhile,” Mrs. Ledford told them. I was thankful for that.

I turned back to Janie and whispered, “You can hold her after awhile.”

Suzy said, “Oh, Beth, you can use my skates any time you want to.”

I sat with my Christmas presents all day. I had to be coaxed to put Pixie Face down so I could eat.

My life was never the same. Was it possible someone loved me? It must be. It was a brand new feeling.

Just as I drifted off to sleep that Christmas night, the face of the smiling man with the kind eyes floated toward me. I opened my eyes and threw a kiss toward Pixie Face as love flooded my heart.

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