As I look forward to spending time with my wife, son, daughter-in-law, grandson and granddaughter on Christmas Day 2021 I cannot help but remember my Christmas Day in 1967.
I spent Christmas Day 1967 away from my wife and family in Vietnam while serving with the 2nd Battalion, 321st Field Artillery, 101st Airborne Division.
When I listen to Christmas music I am particularly touched by the song “I’ll be home for Christmas.” The lyrics include these words that always bring a tear to my eyes, “I’ll be home for Christmas … If only in my dreams.”
I also reflect upon the question: What is the true meaning of Christmas?
The True Meaning of Christmas
Over the years I have come to understand that the true meaning of Christmas is that God gave up His Son to give each and everyone of us the greatest gift of all – life everlasting.
You see that Jesus was born to die like each of us, but His death was short lived as on the third day after His death on the cross on Calvary He arose.
As the Bible says in John 10:11, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.”
Jesus gave up his life so that we may all have life everlasting. It’s as simple as that!
For as John 3:16 promises, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
I lost many of my fellow band of brothers in Vietnam. Christmas 1967 is forever burned into my memory as the best of times and the worst of times. For he who sheds his blood with me is forever my brother.
I wish each and every single one of you and your family a very blessed Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year.
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”
©Dr. Rich Swier. All rights reserved.