A Box of Chocolates

7098_dtEvery year around the holidays my grandmother would purchase Russell Stover boxes of assorted chocolates.  Lots of them.  (Wow, just thinking about this makes my mouth water.)  Anyway, she always had the chocolates out for family and friends who happened to stop by for a visit.

Motivated, of course, to help my grandmother resist these tiny temptations I would eat as many as possible on every visit.  I had actually become so familiar with these delightful sweets that I could identify them by color, shape, swirl, or just looking at the edges.  Of course the very best way to identify them was to  gently press your finger into the bottom of each one.

Those chocolates were amazing!  (I had to beat my sister to the box in order to get the good ones.)  Some of them had soft creamy centers and some had hard candy centers.  Some had peanut butter, some had caramel, and some had toffee.  Some of them even had peanuts, almonds, or walnuts in the center.

Now let’s be honest here. That pretty well describes any local church family.  Some people are hard, some people are soft, and some people are just nuts covered in chocolate!

One of the key strengths of the Church is that we are not all identical.  Why do I say strength?  Because the watching world looks at this local group of drastically different individuals and marvels at our unity and the deep affection we have for one another (see John 13:34-35; 1 Corinthians 12:12-27; Ephesians 4).

How is this unity amidst such diversity possible?  It is only possibly through the blood of Jesus Christ.  The Apostle Paul said, “For in Him [Jesus Christ] all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through Him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross” (Colossians 1:19-20).

Through the precious blood of Jesus Christ we now share the same heavenly Father (John 1:12-13), the same Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:13), the same Body (the Church; Ephesians 1:22-23), the same heavenly Destiny (Revelation 21:1–4), and we share the same holy Calling (1 Peter 1:16)!

  • Do you know God’s peace? Romans 3:10-23; 5:8; 6:10-11, 23; 10:9-10, 13
  • If you DO know God’s peace: Romans 12:18; Romans 14:19; 2 Corinthians 13:11; Ephesians 4:3; Colossians 3:15; James 3:18
Advertisements

Christmas in Heaven

Golden-Christmas-ornaments-christmas-22229833-904-768I see the countless Christmas trees
Around the world below,
With tiny lights like heaven’s stars
Reflecting in the snow.

The sight is so spectacular
please wipe away that tear
for I am spending CHRISTMAS
WITH JESUS CHRIST this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs
that people hold so dear
but the sound of music can’t compare
with the CHRISTMAS CHOIR up here.

I have no words to tell you
of the JOY their voices bring
for it is beyond description
to HEAR THE ANGELS SING.

I know how much you miss me,
I see the pain inside your heart
for I am spending CHRISTMAS
WITH JESUS CHRIST this year.

I can’t tell you of the SPLENDOR
or the PEACE here in this place
Can you just imagine CHRISTMAS
WITH OUR SAVIOR face to face?

I’ll ask him to lift your spirit
as I tell him of your love
so then PRAY FOR ONE ANOTHER
as you lift your eyes above.

Please let your hearts be joyful
and let your spirit sing
for I am spending CHRISTMAS IN HEAVEN
and I’m walking WITH THE KING.

By Wanda Bencke

(Lysandra Kay Bencke was my thirteen year old handicapped daughter. On Christmas day 1997, Lysandra had a seizure and was in a coma for five days before she died. During those five days I wrote the poem “Christmas in Heaven”. I sent it out in a belated Christmas cards to friends and relatives that year. They also sent it on to other friends and relatives, thus the poem and the story behind it have been changed. )