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At CCC we are committed to carrying out our mission summarized in the statement “To honor God by intentionally leading people to greater Christian maturity for the purpose of bringing others to Christ. ”  It is the purpose of CCC, then, to be intentional about challenging its members to deeper faith, greater service and more consistent obedience in order to share the love of Christ more effectively with those who do not yet know him as Lord. In so doing, God will be honored. We invite you to join with us in this exciting adventure of faith.  Your participation in worship, fellowship, educational or service opportunities is encoureged and welcomed!

 “A Mysterious Gift….A Man’s Reflection”

I looked at the gift.  It looked SO different than the others under the tree.  It was so carefully wrapped and even had a ribbon tied in a bow.  In rich red paper…it was beautiful.  This gift was larger than the others too.  But something was missing…it didn’t have a name on it.  I couldn’t ask whose it was; it seemed too special.  I just looked in wonder.  Just having it under the tree added something special to Christmas.

This Christmas, along with other holidays, was not special.  Holidays in my home were filled with lots of drinking, which always led to yelling.  Which led to fights.  In our home, the ‘special’ had been lost for our holiday events.  This Christmas in particular was framed in angry discussions of job loss and financial stress.  I overheard a lot.

However, the GIFT was so mysterious; it was a blaze of red color in my black and white world.  It captured my mind. I could hardly contain myself as the time came to open presents!  I am the youngest of four.  Presents were handed out in order, oldest to youngest.  Each time another gift was handed out the anticipation built.

It did not go to my sister….my oldest brother did not get it….my middle brother got the box next to it…

Next, my mom’s hand reached for THE gift….my world went into slow motion when she handed the
mysterious, beautifully wrapped box to me!  For just a moment I didn’t move.  Maybe it was a mistake.  Then I saw the hidden tag that read “To Mike from Santa.”  It was real, it was for me. As I unwrapped the box I was still in disbelief, as the paper fell away I could hardly believe my eyes; a brand new pair of black ice skates.  New for ME!  Being the youngest boy with two older brothers almost nothing was ever new coming to me.  Now right in front of me were brand new shiny skates.

I remember nothing else of that day beyond skating up and down the ice covered country roads.  I was the only one thankful for the recent ice storm!  In the next few days I’m sure I must have broken some sort of world record for the distance skated by a 9 year old boy.

That gift lifted me out of a fog.  I’m not sure what to label the fog.  Maybe it was the expectation that
somehow Christmas should be special.  Maybe it was TV or comments I heard at school but somehow I thought Christmas should be a special time.  The mysterious gift made that Christmas the most memorable of my childhood.  I never found out who ‘Santa’ was.  I wish I could say thank you, and let them know how much that gift meant.  Someone’s kindness made a significant impact and a memorable Christmas.

I now know there is another mysterious gift that makes Christmas special.  Often it is missed in the
busyness, emotion, or misplaced focus of the season.  This gift has removed the fog of despair that had a grip on my life. This mysterious gift came in the form of a baby born in a stable. When I consider that Jesus left the perfection of heaven, it is almost incomprehensible.  He came to walk the planet He created.  Each day, His heart was broken by the very people he came to serve.  He did this for 9 year old boys.  He did this for you.  All this is wonderful, mysterious and beautiful.  What a gift.  Since I do know THIS gift-giver, I can say thank you for His life changing gift.

From a devotional written by Mike Woodward.

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