Think of how you felt when you awoke Christmas morning and tore apart those beautifully wrapped gifts finding the exact one you asked for. Or when you came to the tree and saw that shining new bike or that great big doll staring at you just like you stared at in amazement hoping one day it would be yours.
I remember waking one Christmas Eve late, going out to the tree to see if Santa had come only to find my mom putting together that American Flyer bike I had so coveted. I was a little confused but rationalized that Santa had left it for her to assemble. I was so excited that it took me hours to fall asleep, then I acted like I had never seen it when she awoke me in the morning. What a joyful memory!
And I remember studying the gospel with my new friend Wayne for several weeks, and though I had grown up as a catholic going to catholic school for nine years, I had never grasped the words I was reading until that day in December of 1984 when I realized I was learning about the greatest gift one could ever receive. It changed my life forever in such a way that it has impacted so many others.
The phrase "the gift that keeps on giving" certainly applies to what Jesus did for us and what this time of year reminds me of. The Easter egg hunts and baskets are fun (not sure where that came from) but what lingers is the price that was paid to bring us salvation through forgiveness and redemption.
When my mom got me that bike we were poor living in what was considered then a ghetto. She was a single mom working two jobs to make ends meet. I am sure getting me that beautiful gift cost her a lot, but the love she gave it with has always been remembered as I pass that on to my own children and grandchildren.
That reminds me of the love that God had for me and how absolutely incredible it is that he would send his own son to die for a sinner like me. Not only is it a gift but it is an implantation of a permanent seed of love that flows through all of us who have come to know him.
This Easter let us pass on that love as a gift, especially to those whose tanks are empty, whose lives are bleak, and whose days are spent searching for a gift they have never received through the broken pieces of their lives.
Thank God for Jesus, Mom and Wayne, they helped me assemble mine back together again!
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Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.