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Christmas in July

July 23, 2017

Today would be would be Christmas in July Sunday wherever I pastored if I hadn’t retired at the end of June after 40 years.

Here’s a Christmas story that’s new to me, from Roy Lloyd 

In the midst of The Great Depression, one family of three — Mom, Dad, and six‑year old Peter — had absolutely no money for store‑bought presents. Nevertheless, they were very inventive in celebrating Christmas.

They decided to make pictures of the presents they would like to give one another if money were no object. So they drew pictures or cut out pictures from catalogs and magazines. They put the pictures into boxes, stuck some old bows on them, and put them under a scraggly Christmas tree.

On Christmas morning the tree was heaped with riches. The gifts were only pictures, to be sure, but they were symbols of Christmas giving. There was a new car for Dad and a red boat, golf clubs, a new suit, some sweaters, and an all‑weather coat. Mom found her dream house and a diamond necklace, dresses, coats, and a vacation cruise.

Most of the make‑believe presents were for Pete. There were pictures of a tent, a new bike, a pedal car, and all kinds of toys and games.

Mom and Dad didn’t expect anything from Pete.

But Pete crawled under the tree and pulled out a gift he had prepared all by himself. He handed his present to his parents with a smile and they opened it.

They found a picture-gift more precious than all the others. It was drawn with first‑grade crayons. It was a picture of three people standing together with big smiles on their faces. They had their arms around each other. And under the picture, Pete had printed a single word: US.

Tears of joy filled the eyes of the parents because they realized that, in years to come, they might be able to give some of those Christmas presents they had only imagined this year, but Pete had reminded them of the best gift they could give one another anytime: their gift of love for each other.

— Schmaltzy? Sure.

But does it tell about the birth of Christ? In one significant regard: the Pete story reminds us that it’s about the love that’s at the heart of it all.

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Jesus said that in John 3:16-17.

Merry Christmas in July!



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  1. Joe. That was wonderful…I have always loved Christmas…the mos t WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR, my Mom and Dad didn’t have a lot of money, but we always received a stocking with a Orange, Apple, Nuts, mostly Brazil nuts (they were my Dad’s favorite, And cream filled chocolate covered candies. We would all put our stuff on the table, later in the day Dad would Crack the nuts, and we 2ould all pick them out, we each wanted Dad to have the first ones.
    M would take our dolls and make new dresses for them.I can’t remember any sad Christmases growing. We would all song Christmas Songs…and make fudge, and we always believed we had the best Christmas ever!
    We also were in the Christmas plays at church. I have a lot of good memories.
    Thank you Joe for sharing.


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