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"That the generation to come might know Him..." Psalm 78:6

Encouragement in Athletics Blog


Flip Christmas?

December 11, 2017
By Ronnie Plyler

As all of us anticipate the upcoming Christmas season, I wanted to share a thought before we get in the middle of the celebration.

Many of you wake up on Christmas morning and think about, or even read the Christmas story in Luke chapter two. It’s a precious story of the most wonderful gift to mankind. When our kids were young, we read that as a family, made a birthday cake for Jesus, and sang Happy Birthday. We’ve continued that tradition for years.

One year when my kids hit their early teens, I flipped it. That year, I read of the crucifixion, the suffering and the betrayal.

Imagine that you gave a loved one an expensive gift that took precious time to either make or purchase. You thought “so much” of the person that you would make the sacrifice to give the gift. It was a gift you treasured; therefore, you knew this gift would be memorable to the receiver and highly valued. How do you think the person receiving the gift would treat it?---I bet with great care and love.

Now, imagine a gift that you gave and the person treated it with great distaste. Imagine they did not respect, value or even desire the gift. Have you ever treated a gift you received at Christmas with such ruthless and reckless treatment? I bet the answer is “no”.

God’s gift of Christ, He was to live and die a death of beatings, scourging, and then hang on a cross to shame the gift. Thankfully, God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). This Christmas. Remind your athletes, your kids, yourself… about the horrible death Christ experienced as he served as the Christmas “gift” to the world. It will open a new perspective on the greatest gift ever given.