Behind the Christmas Tree

Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.    Isaiah 1:18   NIV


During the sermon last Sunday our pastor shared part of his family’s Christmas letter.

It was a different kind of letter, not chock full of their kids’ accomplishments, but full of their hearts’ desires.  This Christmas season they were struck by how much we need a Savior and acknowledged their failings.  They included these two scriptures about Jesus, instead of the usual story from the second chapter of Luke:

She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.   Matthew 1:21   NIV

Jesus is the Greek form of the name we’re familiar with from the Old Testament, “Joshua,”  and it means

“God Saves.”

Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.   1 Timothy 1:15   NIV


In his family Christmas letter our pastor wrote:

I am still selfish; I’d like to be better at sharing.

I still regret my lack of patience when parenting.

My children have come to me for mercy and found a mad man instead.

He came to save me from my sins.


The pastor’s wife added:

While in the privacy of my home, I yell at my kids and my husband.

I struggle to find contentment.

I struggle with self sacrifice for those who are truly in need.

He came to save me from my sins.


From the older children came these words:

Instead of responding to inquiries with openness and compassion, I respond with anger and then point out mistakes.

I could show more patience and caring to those that challenge me by speaking only words that are true, necessary, and kind.

I often treat others and myself poorly.  I put too much value on money, and I love worldly possessions.

I worry.  I always have to have something to worry about, which prevents me from truly enjoying the many blessings God has given me.

He came to save me from my sins.


The cross is often lost in the shadow of the Christmas tree.  The gift given at Christmas, boxed in a manger and tied with a bow of swaddling clothes is the present I least expected, but needed most.

Jesus came to be born as a tiny baby and to die on the cross to save me from my sins:  my impatience, my indifference, and my ingratitude.  My sins–more than mistakes, greater that mere errors, offenses of a self-centered heart–that are guilty blood drops on white, winter ground.  I need a Savior.

He came to save me from my sins.

DSC_1806 (2)

wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.   Psalm 51:7

  linked with Jennifer Lee Dukes

Posted on December 24, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Constance, what an honest sharing of the essential gospel…by your pastor’s family… and you. Such lovely photography here on your blog too!

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