Birthday Candles

December 24, 2013
by Robin Ross

John 12:46 – I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. (NKJV)

Throughout my ministry, Christmas Eve was always a high point of the year, and some years, I put a lot of effort into developing a themed script, illustrated with projected slides. After the children portrayed the nativity story, we would light candles symbolizing Jesus as the light of the world and our task to represent Him as lights in the world. Then we would sing "Silent Night".

So, early in December, one of my jobs was to buy enough candles for the 120 – 140 people in attendance. So there I was, one year, checking out at the grocery store with a full display box containing a dozen boxes of birthday candles.

"You want all these?" the clerk asked.

"Yes, they're for a Christmas Eve Service," I said.

"Oh," she replied, "it isn't for someone's birthday."

"Yes, it is," I said. "It's Christ's birthday!"

Then a fellow behind me in the line said, "Well, you haven't got enough!"

Imagine a birthday cake with more than 2000 candles!

How amazing it is that after 2000 years, we still celebrate Jesus' birthday. But how easy it is to get so caught up in our Christmas traditions and busyness that we forget the fact that Christmas is Jesus' birthday. Imagine holding a big birthday party and not remembering to invite the birthday person! To consciously include Christ, what gift will we give Him? Will it be to forgive someone that we've held a grudge against? Or maybe to extend unconditional love towards someone whom we find it hard to love? Or perhaps we might even pledge obedience to Jesus, who lived and died to pay the penalty for our sins, and rose again to give us eternal life, a relationship with God that will go on forever. Let's make this a special Christmas and truly celebrate Jesus' birthday. It could even include a cake with a white candle and singing "Happy birthday, dear Jesus!"

Prayer: Our birthdays are always special times of celebration, Lord, and Your birthday is an extra-special one. May we accord to You all the honour due unto Your holy name! Amen.

About the author:

Robin Ross <rross@telus.net>
Mission, British Columbia, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Great devotion as always.


    Enjoyed this Robin. Merry Christmas!


    Dear Robin: Thanks for this day’s devotional.


    Good food for thought Robin. Have a Merry Christmas.


    Thank you Robin. I love how you engaged bystanders in conversation about the Christ!


    Good word this morning Robin.
    Christmas blessings.


    I love your sentiment and hope to include something of this to my unchurched grandkids.


    Very good Robin and Merry Christmas to you and your family and all the best in the new year! Looking forward to reading your devotionals in 2014.


    Robin,
    Thanks for a great sharing, and for all your work throughout the year.
    (CA)


    Dear Robin,
    I really enjoy your story “Birthday Candles”.
    Thank you.


    What a beautiful Christmas message. May the light of Jesus’ love shine in our hearts this Christmas and always.
    Blessings.


    Thanks for this wonderful devotional. We’ll certainly share this with our family and friends as we gather to celebrate Jesus’ birth.
    Have a blessed Christmas. We certainly appreciate all you do. Many thanks!


    Robin
    Merry Christmas to you and Evelyn as we celebrate the Birth of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and await His coming again in Glory to claim His Bride the Church. May we be found faithful.


    Good stuff as usual Robin.
    We will soon be off to Church for an evening service as we light the Christ Candle. Due to the Ice storm the Church was forced to close this past Sunday.
    Enjoy your Christmas.


    What a beautiful Christmas Eve story. It brought tears to my eyes.
    Your reflections were thought provoking. And, your question regarding what we would give Him? My answer: my heart. I hope that others will want to give their hearts to Him too.
    Merry Christmas Robin!


    MERRY CHRISTMAS , Robin, to you & yours.
    I pray FATHER rain down blessings of health, happiness with prosperity all the days you walk this earth until the last blessing when FATHER lifts you by the hand to draw you home, your eternal home.
    (Texas USA)


    What a perfect devotional to read on this Christmas Eve day. I’ve often thought of putting a big sign in the yard along with the Christmas lights and decorations — a sign the shouts, “Happy Birthday Jesus.” And, this year as never before, I call His birthday the dawning of Grace. Thank you for a devotional that really does pen what is in our hearts.


    Dear Robin,
    This is the most wonderful devotion! We’ll certainly share it with family and friends as we gather to celebrate Jesus’ birth.
    We would also like to thank you for all you do to give us inspiration each day.
    May you have a blessed Christmas and a year of God’s richest blessings in 2014.


    Thank you for your devotional today. I wanted to comment that every year we host a “Birthday Party for Jesus’ for the youth and children of our congregation and community. Just as at any party we play games, watch Veggie Tales and create a craft. We gather around a birthday cake and sing Happy Birthday Jesus. A reminder that Christmas is celebrating Christ’s birth and his return. Thank you.


    Our family tradition is to have a Christmas icecream cake and the clerks always are surprised when I say I want HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS written on it and the candles 2013(just the numbers). Our grandkids sing the bd song. Thanks for the additional thoughts. It will be especially neat this year as we have power outages because of an ice storm…the candles glowing will symbolize. The people in darkness have seen a great light.


    Hi Robin,
    It is indeed amazing that after all these years the celebration of the birth of Christ is so important to so many of us, he is indeed a light to all of us during times of upheavel.
    Tomorrow morning we will be going to the local long term care centre to lead a large group of residents in worship, and O how they appreciate hearing the story again.
    Blessings in all your work.


    Dear Robin,
    Thank you for a real Christmas devotional.
    I like that — 2000 candles for Jesus!
    Once we had everyone take a lighted candle and go to stand in the outside aisles, around the front of the church, and across the back of our large sanctuary forming a large circle to sing the closing carol(s) of the Christmas Eve service. It was impressive.
    Precious too, are your last paragraph and the prayer.
    Keep writing and praying.
    I pray that God will continue to bless you and yours this Christmas and forever.
    Amen.


    Robin:
    A great message reminding us of the true meaning of Christmas. We as a family are guilty of loosing a tradition we had for years. When we were the parents of our children and right up until the time the last one went off to college, we would go to church, come home, open one gift and have a birthday cake for Jesus. We did this for years, but somehow after marriages, new babies and larger families the tradition has change into going to church, coming back to our place for dinner and opening gifts and scurring off home around midnight.
    The birthday cake celebration seems to have been forgotten. But thank you for your reminding me of how important that is and pleases God. When we have our Christmas Dinner I will take along a cake and we will have a late but meaningful birthday celebration for our Lord.
    Sad but we do leave our dear Lord on the shelf too often.
    Thanks.


    Hello Robin. Singing “Happy Birthday to Jesus” was always the part of our family Christmas. We had half a grapefruit with a candle and a small piece of fruit cake. Then we held hands and sang “Happy Birthday” to Jesus. I still don’t know how the grapefruit fit in but of course the cake is self explanatory. Such was a memorable part of our childhood.Thank you for your Devotional that took me back there for a few nostalgic minutes.


    Greetings to you & yours. Thanks for the wonderful Devotional. Blessings.


    I can well imagine 2000 candles; enough to heat a church building, perhaps?! We celebrated Jesus’ birthday with a birthday cake after the service. Thank you for your story.


    Thanks, Robin.
    I really enjoyed the story that you told in your devotional. It was easy to picture and that is the type of devotional I like to read.


    Good Morning Robin: Thanks again for all you do for PresbyCan Devotions.
    We look forward to them each morning as we start our day.
    The Birthday Candle Devotion took us back many years to when we had a Birthday Cake for Jesus on Christmas Eve.
    Wishing you and your family. A very Happy and God Blessed New Year.

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