The Dancing Puritan

Friday, December 20, 2013

A Basketball for Christmas

Christmas ignites some of the most treasured memories of holidays spent with family. Christmas has always been eventful in our home. Reflecting on growing up in a relatively large family, I appreciate the sacrifices that my father and mother made out of love for us. Many of those sacrifices were most evident during the Christmas season. Two years ago my dad was in his final days on this earth. He would die on Christmas Day. He and my mother were married for over 51 years. That is a lot of time, a lot of memories, a lot of life together! My mother, now a widow, is on my heart and in my prayers. 

A special Christmas that I  remember is the year we lived in an old country home with a wrap-around porch. Outside of that house was an oak tree with a large knot prominently featured. That knot was my basketball goal. Frequently, I would take my over sized basketball and shoot at that makeshift goal.

There was an elderly lady that lived next door and she loved our family. She would watch me play with that ball day after day. Just a short time before Christmas, she died. A few days after her death her husband brought over some presents she had wrapped for us. As I opened my present, there beneath the wrappings was a new regulation sized basketball. I do not have that basketball today, but the death of my friend forever sealed that present and that Christmas in my memory.

Thoughtful and sacrificial giving, always makes an impression upon the heart.  

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life" (John 3:16).

Jesus was born to die.  The birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus forever seals in my heart and mind the truth that God loves me.  He has demonstrated that love by giving the greatest gift of all, His Son Jesus.  Such sacrificial love calls upon us to trust Him and then to display that kind of sacrificial love to others. May the gift of God in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus be the anchor of your heart and the focus of your activities this Christmas season and always.

Edited from a post that ran last December.