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Matthew 18:2-5, Mark 9:36-37, Mark 10:13-16, Luke 10:19

I have so many great memories of Christmas from my childhood. All the Christmas pageants, the socials we went to during December, watching all the Christmas cartoons, and, of course, making out that all-important list.

Some years, as soon as Daddy would get off work that day when Christmas break started, we would pack the car and head out on that long, dark road to South Mississippi to have Christmas with my grandparents.

One of my favorite memories was when I was older and home for Christmas break. Mama would have her work friends over for a Christmas party, so Daddy and I would need to get out of the house for awhile. So, we had our traditional Christmas shopping trip that basically revolved around a quick trip to Belk for some perfume, and a lengthier trip to one of the Chinese buffet restaurants around town.

The Lord never chose to bless me with children of my own and this has been very sad for me. As a young girl I loved caring for little ones, and even made a career of it. But as I’ve aged, the quietness and emptiness of my home has been something I’ve often mourned.

I suppose because of that, my own memories of childhood Christmases, as well as other milestones, mean so much to me. Yet, all of these sweet memories that I have are more than memories. They serve as the vehicle that built up my faith in Jesus.

What was instilled in me as a child about Christmas is of utmost value for my faith life.  First, Christmas is all about the manger (Messiah).  The manger is all about the cross (Savior). The cross is all about the empty tomb (Mighty God). And the empty tomb is all about eternity (Everlasting King).

As this third week of Advent fades into a memory, hold your children very close. What special memories have you made for them, for your family, this year? More importantly, whether you have children, or whether you are the adult child, how have you positioned Jesus in your Christmas season this year? Is He merely a shadow in the background, or is He center stage in all of your celebrations?