Jim Clinton Violins Greenville, SC

A Christmas Letter from Grandpa



Dear Hannah Joy and Leah Grace:

The most exciting day of the year is almost here again: Christmas Day! You can almost feel it in the air. It gets colder out doors as it gets closer to Christmas. And of course, you have to be bundled up in much warmer clothes when you go to the store and when you go to Church: hats with ear muffs, coats with big white ruffles, mittens for those little hands, and boots to keep those tiny feet nice and warm. Even Mommy and Daddy dress up in big wooly coats, and hats, and gloves, and shoes. Christmas is almost here.

Every where you look these days you’re sure to see something that tells you that Christmas is coming soon. Look at those brightly colored decorations that Mommy is pulling out of the closets and and off the shelves. They have been hiding there for almost a year. There are strings of lights to decorate the Christmas tree and boxes of Christmas tree decorations. There are folded sheets of paper: red, and green, and white, and gold, and silver. And then there are boxes: big boxes, little boxes, long boxes, short boxes, pretty boxes, and boxes that are not so pretty.

Here comes a box full of strange little figurines: figurines of people: a mommy and a daddy and a baby. There are figurines of animals: cows and calves, sheep and lambs; horses, goats, chickens, and ducks. There is a strange little thing that Mommy calls a manger with straw in it. Mommy says that is where the mommy will place the baby Jesus to sleep. Yes, the baby has a name. The baby’s name is Jesus. And his Mommy and Daddy have names too. Mommy’s name is Mary. And Daddy’s name is Joseph.

Here is another box with little square white houses with flat roofs. Daddy says that they are the houses that were in the little town of Bethlehem where the baby Jesus was born two thousand years ago. But Mary and Joseph were not from the little town of Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph were from the city of Nazareth many many miles away. Mary and Joseph were just visiting Bethlehem when God gave them their baby Jesus. But that is another big story all by itself:

An angel from heaven visited Mary in the city of Nazareth before she was married to Joseph. But they were planning to get married. The angel told Mary that she was going to be the mother of the greatest baby ever to live in this world. He would be called the Son of the Highest. That means that He would be the Son of God.

When Mary told Joseph about the coming baby, Joseph was shocked. How could Mary have a baby and not be married. So the angel also visited Joseph in a dream. He told Joseph to marry Mary before the baby would be born. And the angel told Joseph to name their new baby “Jesus” because the name Jesus really means “Saviour.” Jesus would grow up and save His people from their sins. How would Jesus save His people from their sins? He would give His own life to pay for their sins. And if they would believe in Jesus, they would be saved from their sins. And they would go to heaven when they died. That is why we like to sing:

“Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus love me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.
Jesus loves me! Loves me still, Tho’ I’m very weak and ill;
That I might from sin be free, Bled and died upon the tree.
Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.
Jesus loves me! He who died, Heaven’s gate to open wide
He will wash away my sin, Let His little child come in
Yes, Jesus Loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.
Jesus loves me! He will stay Close beside me all the way;
Thou hast bled and died for me, I will hence-forth live for Thee.
Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.”

Well, what else did Mommy find in the closet about the Christmas story? Who are these men that look like shepherds, and what of the angels with wings suspended in the night sky? These are things that happened the night that Jesus was born. Angels from heaven appeared to the shepherds as they tended their sheep to tell them that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. So off they went to see the new-born Jesus and to worship Him. But that’s not all:

What are these camels for? And who are those three strangely dressed men on the camels? They are the wise men from the East who saw the star in the sky telling them of the birth of the King of the Jews! So they also came many miles on their camels to see Him, to fall down and worship Him, and to give Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Joseph and Mary were amazed at all the things that were happening to them and to their new-born baby Jesus. Jesus was God’s gift to Joseph and to Mary, to all of the Jewish people of Israel, and to everyone in the world who believe in Him: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)

With love,

P.S. I’m looking forward to seeing you again soon.

[The above material was prepared on November 19, 2011 by Pastor Robert G. Clinton at the request of his son and daughter-in-law Jim and Kim Clinton]

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