There is a time for everything: time for birth and time for death. So often we think we will have time to get our affairs in order when the time comes to leave this earth. My dad had never indicated how he would like his funeral conducted or what kind of casket he would like, but he had one desire. He wanted to leave from God’s house. Spiritually he was ready to go and encouraged others to be ready at any time since no one knows the moment when we breathe our last breath and slip into eternity. Those were his last thoughts as he gave a word of testimony during a senior’s Christmas service. To everyone’s surprise that was to be the time for death of my dad’s physical body. A heart attack took his earthly life, but his spirit moved to Heaven right from the church pew. He had finished the race and kept the faith!
Ecclesiastes 3:2-3 (ESV) Reminds us that there is a season for everything; a time for everything……
A time to weep for loved ones.
December 13, 1923 was the time to be born for my dad. December 13, 1990 was the time to dance into Heaven. Today he would have celebrated his 90th birthday on earth.
No Ordinary Thursday
It was Thursday morning 12 days before Christmas. After his morning coffee and porridge dad had seemed in a hurry to get out.
“Where are you going?” mom asked.
“I have to go Bay Street to buy the newspaper.” So with that he was off. Mom didn’t have time to think if there was something else she needed from the store. He had made up his mind to go at that moment. No stopping a man on a mission.
It wasn’t long before mom heard the truck door slam. “Who was coming for a visit in the morning?” mom talked to herself.
The Christmas Birthday Card
She was working in the kitchen when dad walked in with the newspaper and a thin brown package. The package contained the largest Christmas themed card mom had ever seen. “I bought a birthday card for Pirkko.”
Why he bought it that day? He must have had a knowing. He remembered my birthday was coming up on Christmas Day.
Mom probably thought, “But it’s your birthday.” Dad thought of others more than himself. With a twinkle in his eye and childlike exuberance he opened the card to show mom the inside. Mom stepped back as beautiful music jingled from the card. Dad smiled from ear to ear. He loved the song, “Happy Birthday to You.” I imagine he sang it with the card with his gruff voice and off key! It was a time to laugh!
Mom had wondered why he would buy this card so early? Lots of time left. Her husband usually made this one purchase the day before Christmas. She watched as dad sat in his favourite chair in the kitchen. He opened his newspaper and slurped on another cup of coffee.
By one o’clock, dad had rested and finished the reading of his newspaper in one hand and the Bible in the other. He studied the scriptures and loved to preach God’s Word. Suddenly he looked at the clock. “It’s time for the senior’s Christmas service at Saalem Church. Do you want to come?” he asked mom. Mom could not go this time because she had to babysit at a friend’s house.
Dad never returned to his earthly home. Mom would not believe at first that her husband was gone. After the initial shock wore off, that day was the beginning of time to mourn. Time has now healed everything: a time to heal.
Dad no longer reads the Christmas story from the Bible at our family Christmas Eve celebration. The mantle fell on me so I now read the Christmas story, and my son reads it to his daughter. A Christmas tradition from great grandparents.
Lord, I want to be faithful in keeping the Scriptures alive so people know Jesus is the reason the world celebrates Christmas.
What is your Christmas tradition that changed? Or what Christmas tradition would you like to let go? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment.