When I was a kid the last few days before Christmas seemed like they were an eternity. They just seemed to drag on and on, and the calendar moved at a snail’s pace. The presents under the tree were screaming at us to shake them and examine them as we waited for that glorious Christmas morning when we could open the gifts and enjoy the incredible excitement together.

I think my favorite gift of all time, was when we three youngest boys got these amazing walkie talkies radios. Oh, what a thrill it was to open those boxes and feast our eyes on those electronic treasures. What incredible fun they were. All Christmas day we hid out through that old farmhouse and spoke in whispers to each other. I knew Christmas was supposed to be about giving and not receiving, but I have to say I can’t remember such joy as when I received that greatest of gifts. We kept those walkie talkies for years, and had a ton of fun with them pretending that we were spies on some top secret military missions around the world. We used as much two-way radio talk as we could think of whispering the 10-4’s, Roger that, and over and outs with sophisticated accents.

On Christmas mornings we tried to get up extra early, long before daylight, to get the chores done in the barn so we could get to those presents. The cows had to be fed and milked and the calves had to be fed as well, before we could go back to the house. Usually, I was ready for a nice, hot, hearty breakfast of pancakes, eggs and bacon, but on Christmas morning we couldn’t eat much on account of the butterflies flying around in our stomachs. We still had to sit down at the table though and have some breakfast. Then we would sit down by the tree and my parents would read the Christmas story from Luke, Chapter 2.  It was hard to concentrate on Mary and Joseph, the innkeeper, the stable, the birth of Jesus, the angels, and the shepherds, but we tried. When Dad closed up the Bible, it was time to get after it. What fun and excitement as we opened our gifts and gave them to each other. I think we always got my mom something for the kitchen and my Dad some warm socks, gloves or a new pair of long johns. After we had opened all the gifts, mom usually surprised us with hot cinnamon rolls, or a coffee cake to chow down. Soon it was time to head back out to the barn where the cows were waiting. We had to fill the bunks with corn silage and hay. Then we let the cows out to eat for a while.

While they were outside, the barn cleaner had to be run, the isle scraped, the manure hauled and the spreader scraped to keep it from freezing up. Then we bedded the stanchions inside the barn and got the cows back in to keep them warm and to keep the water cups from freezing up. Soon we were back inside eating a wonderful Christmas dinner with my grandpa and grandma who usually drove to spend the afternoon. Grandma always made sweet potatoes and apple pie.

Each Christmas I am thoroughly amazed at what the prophet Isaiah wrote some seven hundred years before the birth of Christ. Isaiah 7:14; Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel. (Immanuel means God with us) A couple chapters later in 9:6 he writes more; For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

There are actually over 300 prophecies written in the Old Testament that the birth of Jesus fulfilled. After Jesus had risen from the dead he told the disciples on the road to Emmaus about all the prophecies that came true concerning his birth, life, death and resurrection. The disciples were overjoyed. You can read about it in Luke Chapter 24. It’s great. The disciples had the excitement of a child at Christmas who just opened up their new walkie talkies. They said this about their walk with Jesus that day in Luke 24:32; They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

I hope you take some time and reflect on the real Christmas story that we celebrate and how Jesus came to this earth as God in the flesh to bring salvation to all who will truly believe that they are a sinner and need a Savior.

.Until next week, God bless!