“Be very careful, then, how you live— not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:15-16
“He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.” – Jim Elliot
- It’s time to meet with Jesus! The One who gave all He had so you can live a life everlasting with Him! Grab your Bible, journal, a candle and something hot and delicious to drink. Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to your heart and teach you how to pass your faith on to your children this Christmas.
- Read Ephesians 5:15-16 and Revelation 6:9. Write both of these Scriptures in your journal.
Passing Down the Stories
In light of the many events around the world in which faithful lovers of Jesus Christ are martyred, my heart cries out for help and understanding. I wish I knew their names and their stories: the martyrs of past and present, whose biographies of life and death though exceedingly numerous, still have great power with which to teach us to live victoriously. I know one day in Heaven we will celebrate each of these precious Saints, and behold the whole narrative of their beautiful faith in Jesus Christ.
“Peace on Earth, and goodwill towards men,” these are some of the gentle aspects of Jesus, but as we remember the Christ Child, may we also recollect that we are not honoring any ordinary babe; Jesus came to bring peace to earth, yes, but the Scriptures clearly state that He also came to bring a sword to our world, and even to His own mother’s soul:
“Then Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: This child is destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against so that the thoughts of many hearts will be revealed. And a sword will pierce your own soul too.” Luke 2:34-35.
Jesus Himself told His disciples of the oncoming persecution and how simply believing in Him will force them to give their own lives as a sacrifice for their faith:
“Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Matthew 10:34.
This prophecy of Jesus came true, and millions of courageous Christians have given their lives for their faith down through the ages since the death of Jesus. It is impossible to know each of their stories, but thankfully, I do know some. We tried to pass some of these stories down to our children, and one of my favorites is St. Lucia.
Since she is remembered at Christmastime, on December 13, I would love to share her story with you:
St. Lucia lived in Italy in the fourth century and resolved to live her life devoted to Christ and not marry. Nevertheless, her mother arranged for her marriage to a Roman soldier but Lucia refused. Her heart was so committed to Jesus that she sold her dowry in response to hearing about the Christians starving while hiding in the catacombs to flee persecution. She took the money from her dowry and brought food down to the Christians in their hiding places. Since it was dark, she made a crown of torches lighting her way.
When her fiancée learned of her betrayal, he turned her over to the Roman authorities. She was tried and found guilty. The customary sentence for a woman without a dowry was life in a brothel. They couldn’t move her, however, so they brought materials for a fire and stacked them around her. When the fire would not light, a soldier ended her brave life with a spear.
I can only imagine her excitement waking up to Jesus holding her face in His hands saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”
St. Lucia lived a beautiful depiction of Christian dedication and sacrifice worth honoring. That is why we remember to pass down her brave story in celebration of her life.
Take every opportunity to teach your children about Christ and the ones who have gone before who have lived and died by faith. Make your family traditions meaningful and fun, with Christ at the center as much as possible.
May we all pass on their courageous stories to the next generation.
Questions to Ponder: Answer the following questions in your journal.
- Who is your favorite faithful Christian or martyr and why?
- How you best emulate their life in your world?
- As parents, we should use every opportunity to teach our children about the faithful saints who went before us and gave their lives for Christ.
For many years, our family has passed down the faithful story of St. Lucia. On the morning of December 13, I wake up my family wearing a crown of candles and carrying a tray of tea and gingerbread cookies called Pepparkakor. Imagine the excitement for a young child munching on a cookie while in bed, and hear the stories of St.Lucia and her often forgotten peers.
Below is a wonderful recipe by the wonderful Phyllis Stanley for delicious Pepparkakor cookies!
St. Lucia day is now a National holiday in Sweden. It is wonderful to watch each year’s celebration on the internet. I am thankful they remember her brave life.
Here is me with my daughter, Christie, (10 years ago) trying not to drip wax everywhere!
Such a fun surprise for my dear Jack! What wonderful memories![box type=”download”]
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If there was one thing Deb would love to share with you is that God is personal and loves you as you are. You don’t have to be perfect to be loved by our amazing God! Come as you are! His loving presence can be practically known and experienced. He is not a God who is far away, He is dearly near and easily found. He longs for you to come to Him!