Monday, December 19, 2011

Preach the word by any means

6:18 p.m. Today's project was to get my beautiful Christmas e-cards sent out to all of my family and friends whose email addresses I have. We went all out last year with traditional folding cards, like we've had custom made for our entire marriage, but with a twist. The big difference is that last year's card was meant to be a prayer keepsake, because the picture of Steve and me on the cover will most likely be the last formal portrait he'll sit for. (The photo on this blog is from the same series that our photographer daughter Heather made for us).

Constant care and supervision is needed now for Steve. There are also many interruptions caused by his new inability to go in and out of doors, voice his needs, or perform basic tasks like feeding the dog or putting an apple core into the kitchen compost container independently.  So ordering cards, as well as addressing, stuffing and licking envelopes was out of the question this year--way too time-consuming, and not inexpensive.  Since I've been sending out Christmas cards since I was old enough to help my mom in the late 50's, this was a hard decision to make. I just love Christmas cards, both the ones we've had printed for us, and the ones we receive. Cut-outs from my favorites each year make gift tags for the next year.

To a believer in Christ, Christmas cards with an uncompromising, unapologetic gospel message and Bible verse serve a much higher purpose than simply sending greetings to those we wish we could see more often. Christmas is the perfect time to remind one and all of the birth, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is why, during my 13 years in elected office, our card list grew into the hundreds--it was a God-given opportunity to send biblical cards out to colleagues, school district employees, associates and allies who didn't know Christ as their Savior! Eventually, I saw souls converted and hearts turned to the Lord. I pray our family's steadfast witness was a part of those individuals' salvation.

The message Christians are called to preach is summed up beautifully in I Timothy 3:16:

God was manifested in the flesh;
Justified in the Spirit;
Seen by angels;
Preached among the Gentiles;
Believed on in the world;
Received up in glory.

This year, the medium differs, but the message does not! I selected two cards that I alternated among my multiple lists of 25 recipients that Dayspring allows members to send a card to at one time. One shows a blue-toned manger scene, and asks, "How do you gift wrap perfect love?" The other, which I love, is in gold and plays "What Child is This?" (my favorite carol). It says "Jesus" on the cover, and then list His attributes over a background of glistening gifts, and ends with "He is every good gift from God's heart to ours."

Maybe I'll go back to sending "real" Christmas cards another year; I hope so. May I keep in mind that the only reason to send cards at all, in any format, is to make Christ known to one and all!

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