The Ultimate Christmas Gift
This devotional was written by Jim Burns
And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." - Luke 2:8-14
Dan was born with a degenerative heart condition. This problem was in remission for most of his childhood and teen years. He lived a normal kid's life filled with friends, baseball, and drama. But in his junior year of high school, he had massive heart failure. By December 22, 1980 he had spent several months at Stanford Medical Center in what they call "Life Row." He was waiting for a heart transplant. On December 22 the hospital sent Dan home for Christmas expecting him to die before they could find a heart for him. But he was immediately rushed back to the hospital because they had a heart donor and, at age 17, Dan had a successful heart transplant operation. Three days later on Christmas day his Mom read Luke 2 while he was in recovery. Then she began to read the stacks of get-well cards from people all over the country who were praying for him. She pulled a card from the Midwest out of the pile and read this note to Dan:
Even though we do not know you, my husband and I feel so close to you and your family. Our only son Lloyd was your heart donor. Knowing that you have his heart has made our loss so much easier to bear. With all our love,
Paul and Barbara Chambers \
Dan wrote later about that experience:
I couldn't fight the tears any longer. And suddenly I knew more clearly than ever the real reason why I should be celebrating Christmas. In dying, the Chambers' only son had given me life. In dying, God's only Son had given life, eternal life. Now I felt like shouting out loud my thanks that Jesus Christ was born!
"Thank You, Lord!" I said. "And bless you," I said as I thought of the young man who had signed the donor card that gave me my greatest Christmas present of all, "Bless you, Lloyd Chambers."
To comment on today's devotional, click here.
1. . If you were Dan, what would your response be to that letter?
2. What is the spiritual significance of today's devotional?
PSALM OF PRAISE
Praise God with shouts of joy, all people! Sing to the glory of his name; offer him glorious praise! Say to God, "How wonderful are the things you do! Your power is so great that your enemies bow down in fear before you. Everyone on earth worships you; they sing praises to you, they sing praises to your name." Come and see what God has done, his wonderful acts among men. Psalm 66:1-5
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