When I was growing up on a Louisiana farm, if we traveled more than 50 miles from home we had gone on a long trip.  As a rule, my family had only one special place we went once a year. And that was to Grandmother's house for Christmas. This made Christmas extra special for me and my one brother.

     Then Dad was drafted to go to war. As time passed Mother developed a routine. Certain days on the calendar were marked in red. On those days Mother could dial a phone number and after she and Dad had visited a few minutes, my brother and I had our turn. One day I said to Mother, "Why aren't all days red-letter-days?

     Thus we developed this anticipation: we looked forward to going to Grandmother's house once a year; and we looked forward to talking to Dad on the phone on certain days.

     We all develop routines. Sunday morning we get ready for church. During the week we prepare to leave home at a certain time to be to work on time; three meals a day at a certain time; we take our medications and/or nutrients at a certain time - and so it goes.

     Through out history God's people have developed routines. The Hebrews had many feasts to always be prepared for. In time there was the annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover, then the Feast of Pentecost. Now we have the routine of Christmas and Easter along with other special occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries.

     In the Bible we read of a man who waited for a once in his life time event. Like a meteor that flashed across the midnight sky — now seen, now gone — Simeon, the patriarch of Jerusalem, appears only once in all the pages of the Bible. But the words which he spoke on that one occasion have come down through the ages as a priceless legacy.

     "Mine eyes have seen." At last, after years of patient waiting, he had beheld the savior for whom his longing eyes had looked. For him the climatic hour had come. His eyes had seen, and now his heart could be at peace. His eyes had seen the Lord's salvation!

     In these post-Christmas days — almost midway between two — as we look out across a world of deepening darkness, how unspeakably grateful we should be that we, too, have shared in Simeon's great discovery. We, too, have see our Lord's salvation.

     For the Christian the warmth and glow of Christmas is a permanent possession. No matter what the month, we are always living between two Christmases; and the peace and hope and joy we have found in the infant Savior shines on forever, because of the risen adult Savior!

     In the midst of a world of darkness, enshrouded by despondence, doubt, and despair, we can walk courageously into the gathering gloom and say: "Mine eyes have seen Thy salvation!"

     We will have that courage in our lives if we have the Savior in our hearts. As we cradle Him in our arms of faith, may we repeat the words of the poet:  Jesus, the very thought of Thee With sweetness fills the breast; But sweeter far Thy face to see And in Thy presence rest.

     No voice can sing, nor heart can frame, Nor can the memory find A sweeter sound than Thy blest name, O Savior, of mankind!

       Just a Thought Across The Garden Gate by Parson Don.



                                                                                                     Updated January 13, 2010
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        Each devotional was written by Parson Don Brown, and inspired under God's Direction

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