by Kat Clark
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.” –Hebrews 10:23
Every Christmas season, my family and I would choose the perfect fresh-cut tree together. When one caught my eye, my dad pulled it out and spun it around so I could study it from all angles. That tree was important; in the shelter of its branches, I’d arrange our wooden manger. Baby Jesus at the center reminded us of God’s promises—salvation wrapped in swaddling clothes.
My 22nd Christmas turned out to be my dad’s last. He was delivered from his battle with lung cancer into the arms of God two weeks before Christmas Day. We keep his memory alive with our boys, continuing the tradition of picking a fresh-cut tree. When a tree catches their eye, I pull it out and spin it around. In the shelter of its branches we set up that manger with Baby Jesus at the center, reminding us of God’s promises. Around the tree, we wrap the large red ribbon that adorned the poinsettias at Dad’s funeral. “Loving Father” is stitched in gold print on the front of the ribbon, reminding us that Dad is still with us, enjoying God’s promise of salvation, just as our loving Heavenly Father is always with us.
Heavenly Father, we thank You for the gift of Your Son, Jesus. We thank You for sending salvation to the world, wrapped in swaddling clothes. Help us to remember and trust in Your promises during Christmas and always. In Jesus’ name, Amen.