A Christmas Letter to Boys and Girls
Dear boys and girls, I am writing this on Christmas Eve. I am sure that you are all looking forward very much to Christmas Day tomorrow and I hope that you greatly enjoy all the presents you receive.
I was asked recently to say something on our local Christian radio station about Christmas when I was a boy. I told them about the great excitement of getting my first bike. I think I was eight years old at the time which would mean that it was Christmas 1969. That must sound a very long time ago to you! I remember peeping in the door of the family room and seeing this magnificent bike by the Christmas tree and hoping it was for me. And sure enough it was.
I don’t think it took me long to learn to ride it. But nor was it long before I was told that I wasn’t allowed to ride it – at least until I had a bit more sense. What happened was this. I was riding my bike outside my aunt’s house. I went round a very sharp corner, went straight across the road, and was nearly hit by a car driven by the local minister. And word got out! I think the minister told my aunt who then told my mother . . . You can guess the rest. Banned from cycling until I was less of a risk to myself and to innocent drivers!
I wonder if you ever think about angels. I don’t know whether God sent an angel to protect me that day or not but it is the kind of thing that he does. Certainly it is God who keeps us safe. Life is a very precious gift from him (much more valuable than anything we are given on Christmas Day) and it is he who preserves our lives whenever they are in danger.
Just occasionally the gifts we are given are a puzzle to us. We unwrap them, look at them, and wonder what we’re supposed to do with them. I think there are lots of people who really don’t know what to do with the gift of life. They have some idea. But the most important reason for God’s gift of life is unknown to them. And that is very sad. We will never put the gift of life to the use God intended unless we know what its purpose is.
Many of you are learning the Catechism for Young Children. Question 3 asks, ‘Why did God make you and all things?’ The answer is as follows: ‘God made all things, including me, for his own glory’. He has given us the gift of life, in other words, so that we might know him, serve him, worship him, and bring him honour by lives that please him.
Perhaps you have begun to learn the Westminster Shorter Catechism.1 Let me warmly encourage you in that! It has a famous first question about the main reason why God has given us life: ‘What is the chief end of man?’ The answer? ‘Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever’. It’s just like the answer above. God has made us for himself and we find our great reason for living in glorifying and enjoying him.
A life like that is not an easy one to live. Indeed, unless Jesus is our Lord and Saviour it is impossible. But with his help we can do it more and more. It was how he himself lived when he was here on earth. He always did what was pleasing to his Father in heaven (John 8:29). Jesus glorified his Father (John 17:4). Sadly people hated him for living like that and eventually put him to death. But God was greatly pleased with him (Luke 3:22) and will reward him for it forever (Phil. 2:9-11). And if, through Jesus, you seek to use the precious gift of life in the same way – for God’s glory and praise – he will be pleased with you too and greatly bless you forever.
With my very best wishes for 2015,
With Scripture Proofs
Dear boys and girls, I am writing this on Christmas Eve. I am sure that you are all looking forward very much to Christmas Day tomorrow and I hope that you greatly enjoy all the presents you receive. I was asked recently to say something on our local Christian radio station about Christmas when I […]
David Campbell is pastor of Grace Baptist Church, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. This letter was originally addressed ‘to the boys and girls of Grace Baptist Church’.
Living in the World 6 November 2020
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When coming to consider plagues throughout history and some Christian responses, it is appropriate to begin with this extract from the 1662 Book of Common Prayer: O Almighty God, who in thy wrath did send a plague upon thine own people in the wilderness, for their obstinate rebellion against Moses and Aaron; and also, in […]