Sunday, December 25, 2011

Uncle Lowell's Christmas Story

Advent Devotional by Dianne Radcliffe

“The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it.”
—John 1:5—

It was in the mid-1930’s when my Uncle Lowell was touched by his faith to go into the ministry. He was living on a farm in northeast Nebraska with his parents and five younger brothers and sisters. He attended college in Yankton, S.D. His parents would drop him off each Sunday to walk across the toll bridge over the Missouri River because they could not afford the quarter toll. They would pick him up on Friday night. He took fresh eggs and cream to pay for his board and room. On the weekends he would serve a small country church about five miles from his home.
On Christmas Eve that year it was cold and blustery as he walked to church in the late afternoon, but he wanted to prepare for the service. As nine o’clock drew near and it was time for the service, a raging blizzard had developed. He waited, but no one showed up for church. After much thought and prayer Uncle Lowell decided that his mother would worry if he did not come home, and he really wanted to be with the rest of the family on Christmas morning, so he left the church. The wind was very strong and the snow was coming down hard. He trudged slowly along the road, praying he could find his way. As he came closer to home he could see a slight glimmer of light. To his amazement the answer to his prayers for safety and guidance was the lit kerosene lamp that his mother had placed in the front window to show him the way up the drive and into the warmth and love of home on Christmas Day.
My prayer is a family grace that Uncle Lowell, The Reverend Dr. Lowell Jones, wrote. We use it at holidays and family meals. Feel free to use it.

We are a family for one another. We are love and strength in times of trials. Even when we are far apart we belong to one another, and in various ways we remember and pray for each other. We join now to give thanks to God and to ask God’s blessings on this family, those who are present and those who are not here. Amen

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