God's Roadmap

"Let not mercy and truth forsake you; bind them around your neck. Write them on the tablet of your heart" (Proverbs 7:3).


Sunday, December 4, 2016

Glad Tidings in a Dark World

by Barbara Latta


The First Christmas Card - The Heartbeat of Christmas Part 1


Mailboxes are full during December as friends and families send cards, pictures and well wishes for a blessed holiday season and greetings for the New Year. Many send letters with updates on past activities and achievements.

The card industry thrives on holidays and Christmas is one of the busiest for sales. From
fancy to plain, glittered, glitzy, colorful and extravagant, cards are available in any shape or form. In our technological world, some prefer to send e-cards and avoid the postage or
Christmas cards are reminders of joy.
paper usage.


For years, I have displayed the cards we received at Christmas in a wall hanging designed for that purpose. I still have some from friends and family with photographs of children and pets or vacation scenes recorded for the remembrance of fun. Looking back at these mementos is a reminder of the joy of sharing our lives with each other.

But a message of greater importance than any we have received from family and friends came to Zacharias, the priest, as he stood next to the altar and prepared the temple vessels for the ritual of burning of incense. Outside, people worshipped and prayed waiting for the priest to finish his duties.

A bright light shone next to the altar and Zacharias trembled in fear.

A thundering voice said, “Zacharias, do not be afraid. I bring you good tidings of great joy. Your prayers have been heard and you will have a son.” Zacharias and Elizabeth’s son would be the forerunner of the Messiah and prepare men’s hearts to hear the words of repentance and salvation from the Lord.


Months later the message was broadcast on a hillside in Bethlehem to shepherds. “Behold, I bring you glad tidings of great joy. The Savior has been born.” What news could be better than that? Shepherds depend upon their sheep for their livelihood. If something happens to their flock, they have no income. Yet, they left the hillside in search of the One the angels had told them about because the news was so astounding.

Sherpherds heard the glad tidings.
The first Christmas card was mailed from heaven when angels left the throne of God to bring glad tidings to Zacharias and men watching their sheep.

Those glad tidings have continued throughout the centuries and is a Christmas card we can keep forever. It never wears out, fades, gets old or tears. We wear it with us all year because...the heartbeat of Christmas is glad tidings in a dark world.

Cards can be a way we deliver God’s love to a hurting world. We can give cards to people we aren’t close to as a way to deliver God’s love to them. Handing out cards to the homeless, nursing home residents, store personnel, or neighbors we aren’t familiar with can tell them we care. A card can become an open door to the gospel. Hurting hearts can be soothed by receiving a message of glad tidings and a tangible keepsake for the recipient.

What do Christmas cards mean to you? 

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1 comment:

  1. I love Christmas cards! I look forward to sending them and receiving them each year. What an incredible way to celebrate the birth of our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ. It's a great way to stay connected to loved ones and friends. And, it's always a welcome change from the only other mail that comes in our box: billing statements and solicitations. This year, I'm planning to send more notes and cards through the mail (Yes, I know that it is now referred to as snail mail). It's truly a blessing to reach out to others.

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