Fellowship At The Ranch

Ed Jones, Pastor

I am the ghost of Christmas present! You’ve not seen the likes of me at Christmas. I love the lights, carols, smells, sounds and sentiment. I can’t wait to give presents, watch anticipation, feel excitement, hear giggles and experience the love of family. I’ll sit and stare at the old stories and shows. The Miracle on 34th Street is never old or dated, Josh Groban singing Willy Wonka’s Pure Imagination always chokes me up, Chevy Chase stapling 25,000 lights on his roof is comic genius, Ralphie being warned not to shoot his eye out while wearing a pink bunny costume and watching Frank Kapra’s It’s a Wonderful Life for the umpteenth time.

Have I mentioned the food? Oh, the food! Snickerdoodles covered with cinnamon, warm and soft to chew. The smell of turkey or ham baking in the oven fills the house with delicious aroma. We always hang candy canes from the tree buying more than we can possibly use, thus necessitating eating the remainder. Counters and table tops alike are festooned with every type of nut imaginable. And no Christmas Season would be complete without eggnog! If that weren’t enough, I’m one of those rare birds who can’t wait to eat fruitcake. I love the texture, the taste, the variety and the fact that many think it vile. I savor each morsel.

Christmas is indeed special, but I omitted one special moment…the moment when Linus announces to an exasperated Charlie Brown, “Sure, Charlie Brown, I can tell you what Christmas is all about.” He then directs, “Lights, please!” and begins:

And there were in the same country shepherds, abiding in the fields, keeping watch over their flocks by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them, and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, fear not! For, behold I bring you tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you, ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

Linus then picks up his blanket, walks up to Charlie Brown, and says, “That’s what Christmas is all about Charlie Brown.” And so it is.

Enjoy all the sights, sounds and smells of the season, but don’t let all the glitz and glamor cause you to miss the reason.

From all of us at Fellowship at the Ranch Church, we wish each and every one a very Merry Christmas.

Ed Jones pastors Fellowship at the Ranch Church, which meets at the Robson Clubhouse on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. Visit Fellowship’s website: www.fellowshipattheranchchurch.org for more information.