Bobby Bryant concluded the 66th annual Neosho Laymen’s League Pre-Christmas Services on Friday at the Bible Holiness Assembly of God Church.
“Here is what Christmas has meant to me,” he said. “It really depends on what time in my life we are referring to.”
Bryant listed seven references.
“When I was a child it was all about me and getting what I wanted for Christmas,” he said. “Don’t lie, it was the same for you too. My first bicycle, first drum, first puppy and my first BB gun just before my first whopping and no, it wasn’t a Red Ryder.”
Next came 1978.
“That Christmas, I got engaged to my beautiful, wonderful wife, Shauna,” he said. “Third, when Jason and Christin came along, it was all about them. It was fun to watch them of course but so many of the things they asked came with that dreaded statement on the box ‘some assembly required’ you know what that means – no explanation needed. Fourth was the Christmas of 2002 was spending the last few days of Mom’s life with her, I can’t believe she’s been gone 10 years.”
The fifth reference referred to a trip.
“Christmas of 2005, we were in Israel. How awesome that was to see where Jesus was born and walk where he walked,” Bryant said.
His sixth reference was the “empty nest” and it was all about him again, he noted.
“Seventh, this Christmas my heart is in Afghanistan with Jason,” Bryant said. “He and his team are on a mission living in abandoned building in freezing cold temperatures. Also, I can’t help but think about the families in Connecticut that are having their first Christmas without their precious children. The pain must be overwhelming.”
After Bryant listed the seven points, he asked a question.
“I’ve spoken about events around Christmas time, but all the way back to the beginning Jesus’ birth was the focal point,” he said. “I was blessed to have been raised by wonderful Christian parents. Do we really understand why God sent Jesus to earth? I believe He sent Jesus to bring His kingdom to earth. He tried it with Adam and Eve. We know how that went. We needed a savior and a sinless, perfect sacrifice was the only way to cleanse us of our sins. God’s No. 1 priority for mankind is that we discover, understand enter the kingdom of Heaven.”
In conclusion, Bryant said, “we gather here as many different religions…all made by man,” he said. “Christ didn’t establish a religion on earth. All He wants is a relationship with us. He wants our hearts. It’s that simple. We don’t need to make it complicated. That’s what Christmas means to me. I wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and God bless you.”
Page 2 of 2 - Next year’s Laymen’s League will be held at the First Presbyterian Church.