There is probably one Christmas that sticks in my memory more than any other. We never had a lot when I was a young boy. So when Christmas came around, we always had some gifts but nothing was extravagant. This particular Christmas, we all knew that things were tight. My brother and I had each expressed how much we wanted a particular gift. In fact, we let it be known that if we got that gift we would be very excited if it was our only gift. By the few small packages under the tree, we knew the gift we had requested was not there. So on Christmas we opened the few little packages. After we all had opened our gifts our parents asked if we were happy with Christmas. Knowing finances were limited we both said we were, even though we were disappointed not getting what we had hoped for. Quietly my father slipped out of the room and came back in carrying the two gifts these two boys had longed for. We knew our parents had sacrificed to bring joy to their children.
There were two very important lessons I learned that Christmas. Though at that age I may not have understood it completely, the actions of my parents taught me the sacrificial love a parent has for their children. That Christmas was also a demonstration of the love of our heavenly Father. The Messiah had not come. Things were dark and hopelessly disappointing. Expectation was low. Yet God knew what the world needed. They needed a gift. A big gift beyond expectation. And so God made the sacrifice of sending His Son to be the light of salvation to those in darkness. Joy to the world, the Lord has come!
I have reflected on that Christmas memory many times and it still tugs at my heart. And I also continue to reflect on the love God showed in giving us Jesus, and it still tugs at my heart as well. Experience the Joy of a Fathers love this Christmas and let it change you.