Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | December 5, 2015

December 5, 2015 “Baubles, Bangles, and Beads”

” I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,  always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all” (Philippians 1: 3-4)

Good Morning Everyone!

Last night, I was thoroughly engaged in what has become somewhat of a tradition in our home. It is my privilege to trim our Christmas tree each year, and each year brings a bit more nostalgia as I unwrap each ornament and hang it on our tree. Many of the ornaments are just that…”baubles, bangles, and beads”(as in the old Bob Hope song…those of you too young to remember should look it up on Youtube and give it a listen). These particular ornaments lend a certain Christmas sparkle to the tree, but they carry little of the aforementioned nostalgia as do certain others. These “others” are special, carrying with them fond memories of Christmas days of yore. For example, I have a few obtained during special trips…one from Ireland with a Irish blessing. Another is from our trip to Alaska…a miniature Eskimo nativity with the holy family making room for the baby Jesus outside of an igloo. Still another features an Amish nativity from the last time we visited my boyhood home. There are ornaments from Christmases long gone by, handmade during childhood. Our children and grandchildren are also represented by special ornaments. One features a picture of two of our grandsons along with a recording of them singing “We wish you a Merry Christmas”. How I love hearing those little angelic voices once again each Christmas as I hang it on the tree.

The apostle Paul understood the power of remembrance. Deep in his heart were remembrances of those he had come to know who responded to the glorious Gospel message he had been commissioned to share with them. They were, in a very real sense, his “family.” Though separated from them sometimes for months and many miles, he held each one dear to his heart and expressed his affection for them through his correspondence, and even more importantly, through his prayers for them. He spoke of the sheer joy that was his in the remembering of them. I can picture Paul recalling meals he shared with them…questions he answered as their hearts began to glow with the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ…tears shed as he departed from them…blessing upon blessing. Each precious soul he encountered on his ministerial journeys was akin to another ornament to hang on the tree each year…a tree that, when completed, sparkled with the rapturous glow of the light of the world shining in every heart. Much more than mere “baubles, bangles, and beads”, these are truly keepsakes that will endure and shine more brightly each time they are remembered. To God be the glory. Let’s pray!

Heavenly Lord; Few things of this world, if any, shine more brightly than hearts and minds illuminated with the Good News of the Gospel. Shine brightly in my heart, I pray, that I may become a priceless and treasured memory in someone else’s life, showing forth the love of Christ now and forever. In Jesus’ great Name I do pray. Amen!

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