Merry Christmas

It’s almost Christmas. Pete and I hope you are enjoying each moment of this wonderful time of year when we celebrate the birth of our Savior and King Jesus Christ.

Christmas music box from Bethlehem

We hope you enjoy this little Christmas story, written about five years ago and updated for this post.

Making his way down a path of forgotten luminaries, the man’s anticipation grows with each step. He removes a crumpled paper from his pocket. “Corner of Third and Homes Lane,” he reads the address out loud. “I’m almost there.”

Oh the joys of gift-giving

It’s the man’s birthday, and he can’t wait to celebrate with his precious family and friends. There’ll be food and over-the-top decorations, gifts with the largest bows, silly birthday cards, and best of all, the children’s laughter as they chase each other around the house.

Oh how I love the children’s voices. Every single thought overflows with anticipation.

At last he stands at the door ready to celebrate with those he loves. He could walk in without knocking, but because he is a gentleman, he knocks. When no one answers, he knocks again, this time a little louder. Still no answer.

Strange they don’t hear. He stumbles over the bushes that run along the front of the house. I can hear their voices just fine. Why aren’t they inviting me in? He knocks on the picture window and waves both arms, trying to gain their attention.

Still no answer.

Our tiny Christmas tree.

The man’s attention is drawn to the gifts that have been piled high under a beautifully lit tree and the boy who stands close, eyeing the gifts. “Can I open just one?” The boy picks up a box and shakes it. “I think I know what it is.”

“After we eat.” A young man with a beard gently leads the boy away from the gifts. “And if you touch it again, you may never know what’s inside that box.”

He has no other choice but to fist-tap the window, a little harder this time. Certainly, they wouldn’t celebrate without me. He taps again. It’s my birthday, don’t forget.

His shoulders droop. Not one person looks his way as those he loves move toward the dining room.

Aromas from his birthday dinner travel through an open window, reminding him of a feast to come. He watches as his loved ones gather around a table set with fine dishes and green napkins folded in the shape of pine trees. The grandpa, who he has known for over fifty years, sets the turkey in the center of the crowded table. Endless laughter and chatter circles the table.

But not one person notices who is missing.

As he looks closer, he notices that even though it is his birthday, there isn’t an empty spot for him at the table. These are the people he loves and they are celebrating his birthday without a mention of his name or a birthday greeting.

Jesus.

Happy birthday, Jesus.

That’s all he longs to hear. A tear rolls down his cheek. Maybe next year they’ll remember to invite me, he assures himself as he finds a spot to sit and wait.

May we all remember to invite Jesus to his birthday celebration this year.

Starting with the Manatee Festival, we are looking forward to a busy January. After that, the Fellowship of Christian Farmers will spend a week volunteering at ECHO. Both Pete and I are thrilled to return to ECHO, a ministry we dearly love.

Here are a few pictures of what’s been going on in our lives as we look forward to our Savior’s birth.

Sandy enjoyed a Christmas lunch with Bible study friends, Anna, Susan, and Joyce.
Pete and Sandy enjoyed dinner with faithful supporters Doug and Peggy and Bud and Karen. What a special evening!
Pete with Bill, our faithful leader (Center) and John (left) who came for a visit and to deliver some much needed walking sticks.
And best of all, our precious neighbors, Harry and Abbey, and their sweet children. We were blessed to have opportunity to pray with them before they moved to North Carolina. We will miss this precious family, but are happy to know they were able to purchase a home and will be raising their family with Jesus as their Savior, Lord, and guide. Praise his name!

Have a wonderful Christmas.

Thank you for your faithful prayer and financial support this year.

We love you!

Pete and Sandy

Published by sandramaesinger

Fifty years and counting, that is how long Pete and I have been married. We have two wonderful adult children, seven amazing grandchildren, one terrific great-grandson, and a pug with an inflated ego. Originally from Minnesota, we now call southwest Florida home. I'm looking forward to publication of The Missing Piece, which is the sequel to my first book, All the Broken Pieces. Also keep an eye out for He Came to Me, which places readers in the sandals of the often neglected women whose lives were changed when Jesus came to them. Along with Pete, I have spent my life in ministry, often opening our home to women in crisis and working with lawmakers on legislation that promotes life and family values. Both Pete and I are certified Community Chaplains and since Pete's retirement, we minister with The Fellowship of Christian Farmers International, traveling to festivals and fairs to share the gospel and bringing hope and help to those hit by natural disasters.

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