Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas on the Ranch

Jim the old cowboy was sitting in his rocking chair next to his wife and in front of his fire place watching the flames lick at the log he just put on the fire.  The old cowboy had paper cuts on his hands and there was tape and wrapping paper sticking all over him.  He even had a piece of tape stuck to his well used hat.  If you looked at him you would have thought one of Santa’s elves had gone Ninja on him.  You see Jim was expecting a special guest and he spent all day wrapping a very special present.
About the time that they expected his daughter’s family Jim heard the sound of a truck pulling up his long drive.  So they went to the door and stood out on the porch waiting for the truck to get parked.  Once the engine turned off Jim watched is daughter get out of the passenger side of the truck and right behind her his grand daughter bounded out yelling, “Grandpa”!
Jim knelt down with his arms open and waited as his granddaughter ran up and jumped in his arms.  He gave her a hug and set her on the porch and greeted his daughter and son in law, while his wife hugged Amy his grand daughter.  As they entered the house each person noted the beautiful Christmas tree decorated with ornaments collected over the years, they also noted that there was only one gift under the tree and it was the most beautifully wrapped gift you could imagine.  The gift was wrapped in gold with a ribbon around the box and a large bow at the top. 
Once they all sat down Amy looked at the tree and the gift and said, “Grandpa there’s only one gift under the tree is it for me?”
Jim looked at Amy and replied, “Sweetie that is gift is for all of us.” 
“But Grandpa”, Amy said “Where are the rest of the gifts?”
Jim was silent for a second and said, “We’ll get to the other gifts, but first we need to open this one and talk about it for a while.”
With that Amy got permission from her parents to open this beautifully wrapped present. Amy ran to the tree and grabbed the gift and ran back to her seat with it. 
Back in her seat Amy tore into the gift she struggled with the bow that was taped on exceptionally well and finally got the wrapping paper off.  With that done she opened the box, in the in box were papers.  She looked at her grandpa in confusion.  Jim looked at her with a twinkle in his eyes and said,”Sweetie bring it here and I’ll read to you what it says and explain why this is such an important Gift to all of us.”
 With that Jim began to read:
Luke 2
Jesus’ Birth in Bethlehem
 1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth. 2This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city. 4 Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the city of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and family of David, 5 in order to register along with Mary, who was engaged to him, and was with child. 6 While they were there, the days were completed for her to give birth. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son; and she wrapped Him in cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
 8 In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people; 11 for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
 14 “Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
 15 When the angels had gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds began saying to one another, “Let us go straight to Bethlehem then, and see this thing that has happened which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they came in a hurry and found their way to Mary and Joseph, and the baby as He lay in the manger. 17 When they had seen this, they made known the statement which had been told them about this Child. 18 And all who heard it wondered at the things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. 20 The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.  

Jim finished reading and said to Amy and her parents, “You see that little baby in the Christmas story is the Son of God, He grew up and finished the mission that He came to earth for.  He allowed Himself to be put on a Cross where He paid four our sins.  The Bible tells us in John 3:16-18 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. 21 But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”
You see Amy the gift of Christmas is that Jesus Christ left heavens glory and came to earth as a baby then died on the Cross but after three days he was raised from the grave so that those who believe in Him will also be raised with Jesus. 

That’s why it’s a gift to us all, we can all trust Him and receive the Gift that He gave us. 
He is Truth and the light of the world, the light starts with Him and spreads around the world….