Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Home for Christmas (11/20/08)
TITLE: With Christ For Christmas
By Joshua Janoski
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My maternal grandfather looked a lot like the legendary cowboy actor. He was a big fan of The Duke and his films, as well as any other film or television show dealing with the Old West. I remember Christmas Eve around 17 years ago. We were visiting my Grandpa Theon (we called him Grandpa T for short) and my Grandma Julia at their trailer. The date was December 24th. I didn’t know my grandfather very well, and Christmas Eve was the only time that we really visited much with him.
I remember him opening his gift from our family – a John Wayne belt buckle. From what I recall, he really liked it. My sisters and I opened up our gifts as well, and when the festivities were over with, we headed back home. As we drove down the road, an ambulance came zipping by in the opposite direction with lights flashing and sirens blaring. My mom said, “I hope that ambulance isn’t heading to my dad’s place.” She got a call later on that night confirming her worst fear. My grandpa died in the hospital shortly after…
Our family is not the only one that has faced death during the holiday season. It seems as though many lose their loved ones at this time of year. It’s hard to understand why God would take someone at such a special time. However, I can imagine that my grandpa had the most spectacular Christmas ever that year…a Christmas in Heaven.
I often wonder what Christmas in Heaven is like. Are the mansions decorated with wreaths and Christmas lights? Do pine trees and snowmen sit outside in the yards for all to view? Can the angels be heard singing carols as folks walk down the streets of gold? Does the smell of Christmas dinner waft in the air? Are the pearly gates adorned with decorations wishing those who enter a “Merry Christmas?”
Personally, I don’t think that Heaven looks like this during the holiday season. I don’t know for sure, but I highly doubt that Christmas is celebrated the same way in the heavenly realm as it is here on Earth. When my grandpa left his trailer home and headed to his eternal home for Christmas, I believe that the bright light he saw did not come from any multi-colored bulbs. It came from the “Reason for the Season” himself - Jesus Christ. The angelic voices he heard were not singing carols such as “Jingle Bells” or “Frosty the Snowman.” They were singing songs of praise and thanksgiving to the Creator of Heaven and Earth. God’s celestial domain did not need the draping of decorations, because it was already more spectacular than anything else that he could have possibly imagined. The food that he feasted on was not that of baked ham and mashed potatoes, but instead, God’s Word. Grandpa had made it home for Christmas, and I don’t think he could have been happier.
I cherish the life that I have been given here on Earth, and I do not have a wish for death. However, I often get excited thinking about my first Christmas in my eternal home. I know that my grandpa, as well as many other loved ones, will be there to greet me. I look forward to reuniting with them and celebrating the holidays together once again. Most of all, I can’t wait to jump into the loving arms of the man who humbly came as a babe in a manger and grew up to pay the price for my sins….I can’t wait to go home to be with Jesus Christ for Christmas.
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