Song: “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam”
When I was six years old, our family went to Nunda, South Dakota for Christmas with my grandparents. My grandpa was a Lutheran pastor who, after retirement, was asked to temporarily serve this tiny farming community. Nunda was very small, with a downtown that had a mercantile store, a gas station, and silos along the rail line. The church, however, served a larger farming community that converged at the old white church for Sunday services and community gatherings.
I remember that Christmas well. Grandpa informed my two older sisters and me that we would be singing a song at the Christmas Eve service. I was the youngest, and the only song I really knew how to sing with my sisters was “Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam,” not a Christmas song, but Grandpa said it would be fine.
My grandpa was quiet and didn’t pay much attention to us kids during the holiday. He was either in his study or in his chair, surveying the chaos that was part of a large family gathering. At dinner I sat next to Grandpa. The lights were dimmed, we all held hands, and Grandpa prayed. It was a prayer of thanks, a prayer of love, and a prayer about Jesus, the light of the world. He prayed that all of us there would spread that light and he thanked me and my sisters for doing that at the Christmas Eve service.
After the prayer he squeezed my hand, bent down and winked at me!
May the same prayer my grandfather prayed that long-ago Christmas Eve bless you and yours this Christmas and always. Amen.
To the Writers
of this devotional: