World Report

December 20, 2019

A Gift Hardly Afforded

From the Superintendent's DESK

When I was growing up, I highly anticipated our family Christmases, and they were always satisfying to me. The seven of us children would sit around the tall, decorated Christmas tree, watching each other unwrap gifts one by one as Dad passed them out. Money was not easy to come by, so the gifts were generally items that we would need during the coming months and which our parents would have acquired eventually, Christmas or not.

However, one year was different for a younger brother and me. After all gifts around the tree had been opened, Mom and Dad told us to run down to the barn where something else could be found. We ran as instructed and I could hardly believe my eyes as I saw two brand new Schwinn five-speed bicycles, one with my name on it. The bikes we were accustomed to riding had rattling fenders, loose seats, and crooked handle bars. Never did I imagine that a brand new bicycle would be mine one day!

My first reaction was amazement, followed by excitement. However, that quickly turned into worry. How could Mom and Dad have afforded to buy something so nice? I was very concerned that they had purchased something they could not afford.

It was not until a decade later that I experienced Jesus and came to realize that God gave a Gift He could hardly afford. While love motivated my parents to give such a gift to their children, who loved them in return, Divine love compelled God to give His Son to us when we did not even care for Him or give Him much thought.

Our world today—a world that hardly acknowledges the Son of God—is abuzz with activity celebrating a mere “holiday.” May we pause this Christmas season to express appreciation for God’s gift to us, Jesus Christ, our Savior. And may God grant you and your loved ones a very Merry Christmas!