Bird's Eye View

Christmas gifts, comfort and joy in Portage

2013-12-18T00:00:00Z Christmas gifts, comfort and joy in PortageRobin Wilkening Times Correspondent nwitimes.com
December 18, 2013 12:00 am  • 

I remember when I was a child, Christmas time would send me into some kind of euphoria that I can hardly describe to someone else. I still feel an inner-glow of all the fond memories of the Christmas’ past and the anticipation of the ones we will be making this year with all our family at home.

Of course, it’s the most wonderful time of the year to be a kid. But isn’t that what Christmas is all about, the kids? The original gift at Christmas was a child. A child to grow up and lead his people to the way that leads to life eternal. I believe my pastor, Dennis Ticen, said it the best a few years ago in a sermon that still stands out in my mind to this day, “It’s not about being a success or being successful, it’s about showing up and doing the work to be done; to just be faithful.” We need to lead by example with our kids so they understand what it is to be faithful especially during this time of Santa and presents. They need to understand the reason for the season.

But this time of year, some people feel dread, frenzied, depressed or just plain stressed out. Some how I don’t think this is what God had in mind when a small child was laid to rest in a manger in Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago. God gave us the greatest gift of all, his only son. If you have any of these feelings may I suggest a remedy or two for the Christmas blues.

A few would be to plan a project of good will, volunteering to ring the bell for The Salvation Army, go Christmas caroling, a daily devotion, go to a church service of your choice, send out Christmas cards, or read the Christmas story in the Bible, Luke 1; 5-56 and 2; 1-20.

The Portage First United Methodist Church will also be hosting a Longest Night Service at 7 p.m. Saturday for those that are experiencing stresses this season due to a loss through a death, divorce, loss of a job, or even living with a devastating disease that finds you not feeling so merry this holiday season. It is a quiet service of praise for the birth of our Christ to give hope for those in need on what is the longest night of the year. Refreshments and fellowship will be available afterwards.

For those that want the feeling of being right there at our Savior’s birth, there’s an opportunity to view a live, drive-thru Nativity. Come out this Sunday from 6:30 to 9 p.m. to Grace Church of the Nazerene, 5360 Clem Road. Members of this church work hard so you can experience the wonder as the Christmas Story unfolds before your very eyes. The visual aesthetics of the shepherds tending their flocks, the Three Kings who have traveled from afar to bring gifts, live animals, King Herod in his palace and Jesus, his mother Mary and Joseph in the stable. I have seen this wonderful story on many occasions and is a sight to behold because they bring good tidings of great joy. It will truly warm your heart.

Portage; a place of Christmas gifts, comfort and joy.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion.

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