When I was a child, like all children, I could not wait for Christmas. When I was ten years old, I wanted a new bicycle with a basket on the front and two on the back. I was a paperboy with a growing number of people who wanted the newspaper. I did not get it. I was greatly disappointed. We just could not afford the cost. But each year I wanted the same thing.
As a father, my wife and I wanted to give all we could for our children, and we did. We bought dolls; we bought games; we bought star wars stuff. In spite of our overindulgence, our two children turned out to be normal, productive, and generous people with families of their own. Yes, we still exchange gifts, and we still overindulge when sending gifts to our two under ten grandsons in New Mexico. In our western Christian world, we do try to outdo each other in our emulation of the three wisemen of biblical lore.
In my life of meditation and prayer, I often read the Beatitudes in Matthew, then turn to His teaching the way to pray in Mattew 6. This praise to God brings a warmness in my heart every time I read it. When I repeat it either verbally or silently, I always read the words. Each word is a gem I do not want to miss. And yes, when I was young and in Sunday school, I had to memorize it, and even at seventy-eight, I remember it, but I cherish the words and read as I recite.
This is referred to as the Greatest Prayer.
This is the greatest Christmas gift. This prayer then leads us to pray for others; this leads us to live a life of prayer. Truly, the Greatest Christmas Gift is Prayer.
© Russell Kendall Carter