Thursday Dec. 26
Scripture: Luke 2:8-20
Shepherds are unlikely people to appear at the manger. And you might not expect to discover the meaning of Christmas by spending time with your in-laws, but that’s exactly what’s happened to me (Wil) over the years.
I have learned many things from my father in-law over the years:
- How to clean a pistol. (Right before my first date with his daughter, seriously, it’s the truth.)
- How to back up a trailer. (He’s really good at it. I’m pretty mediocre.)
- How to avoid gun fire when driving a pick up truck. (It’s a long story. No, we weren’t actually shot at. Yes, we thought someone was shooting at us.)
However, maybe the greatest thing he has taught me is the nature of the Incarnation.
During the first years I was a part of his family, he would always pull me aside just before I left his house. He would tell me he to be safe, that he loved me, and that he was proud of me. Then he would tell me that if I ever got into trouble, no matter what time of day or night, no matter where I was, to give him a call and he would come help me.
Most father in-laws tell their sons in-law that if they get into trouble, they’ll be there to hold them accountable. My father-in-law told me, he’d be there to help – no matter the cost.
Many people think God is there to punish when we do wrong. But Christmas tells us God will go to any length, even coming from heaven to earth, to help us when we need Him.
We’re told that Mary treasured the words of the shepherds about Christ and pondered them in her heart (Luke 2:19). I treasure the words of my father-in-law because without ever trying to, he taught me about Christ and about Christmas.
Prayer: God of heaven and earth, thank you for coming from heaven to earth to meet us in the midst of our sin, our struggle, our need. Teach us to turn to you that we might find the healing, deliverance, and love only you can bring. Amen.