It’s 7 oclock in the morning on 25th December 2011. Yes it’s Christmas day and I am the only one awake. I’ve been awake for an hour now which tends to be my normal rising time, even when not a work day. However it does seem funny, as I look back over the years to know that the three great kids (one is nearly 18) are still snuggled in bed asleep on Christmas day. Their Mum often wakes with me, but after the busyness of the celebrations that come with being a Children’s worker, this year she slumbers as well.
So I turn to you my friends at this time and wish you a very happy day, on what I often term the Main Mans birthday. As I do so I think of friends old, some in the time that we have known each other, some in the their years. Friends who took us under their wing, as we became new parents and believers within the same couple of years, nearly eighteen years ago. Their ailments never seem to completely leave them now, but their wisdom has also remained the same, and I am grateful for the gift of their input in my life. Friends who are old because they have known us for a long time, some of whom we will meet tomorrow at the “Hamsters Nose”. They know the daft stuff I have done in the past. The Bus in the fort, the frequent exits from moving motorbikes, the loud, brash, attention seeking yet nervous lad that a slightly fraught school life produced. I thank you for the gift of sticking around for the long haul. Finally friends who have just recently joined, many of you will bring wisdom and some of you will stay for the long haul and for that I am also grateful. Some of you are just passing through, and I will treasure the time we have together. I thank you for your gift of friendship in the now.
What of my gift to you? If you have been around for more then two minutes, you will know that the chances of a card at Christmas or on your birthdays are remote. It’s probably not fair that I project my lack of interest in a piece of pre printed sentiment on to you, but hey it is you who choose to be my friend, so I hope your will forgive me. This year as you may know if you are on Facebook the money we don’t spend on cards is going to http://www.greatlakesoutreach.org and the work they do in Burundi. Perhaps I should take after Wendy & Mark and send a newsletter each year. It’s something we read with eagerness when it turns up. But Wendy is way better prepared then I am. Lets be real even this note, is because I happen to be up on my own early on Christmas day. My faith would suggest that my gift to you would be telling you about the love of Jesus, and my whole heart cries out that you investigate what that would mean to you. But then again you are probably already aware that I would desire this, and it’s your choice. I guess my gift to you is that Ill do what I can. I am by no means any sort of example of what a Christian should be, or even just what good bloke should be. But today my gift to you is if you need me, Ill do what I can. It’s not much, but as I begin to hear the noises of a waking house I hope you enjoy unwrapping it. Oh and I do wish you a Happy Christmas on the Main Mans Birthday.