Christmas with Uncle Joe

Christmas Memories – Advent Devotion

November 27, 2020

Galatians 3:28

My uncle Joe went to be with the Lord in the early 1960s, but I’ll never forget him. He was a veteran of WWII. He saw combat in the Philippines. I still have a bayonet he gave me when I was a kid. When He got back from the war, uncle Joe got a job in construction. Unfortunately, after a couple of months on the job, he was hit in the back by a falling plank, which left him paralyzed from the waist down.

I could tell many little stories about my uncle Joe, but the one that sticks in my mind is a game our family played on Christmas Eve in the late 1950s, in which I was paired up with uncle Joe. Looking back at it now, it’s kind of funny as we were playing a game that required mobility, of which he was limited.

The game we played was “String Handcuffs.” As you can see from the photos below, it involves one person having a string tied loosely around their wrists. Then another person does the same, but their string is on the inside of the first person’s string. The goal is to maneuver your body in all sorts of contortions until you find a way to separate yourself from the other person without breaking the string.

I remember looking over at my Aunt Jean and my dad as they tried to extradite themselves from the string handcuffs. It was quite a sight to watch, as they were climbing all over each other, trying to get untangled. Of course, the chances of Uncle Joe, who was in a wheelchair, and me playing the game to a successful conclusion were almost impossible; that’s not really the point. Uncle Joe always took the time to talk to me, play with me, and yes, including me in conversations and events. He was just that kind of guy. Even with his disability, he never let that get in the way of spending time with me and being an encourager.

Christ, to includes people. He is all-inclusive. It doesn’t matter what your skin color is, what your nationality, and yes, whether you are Jew or Greek. If you believe in Jesus and what He accomplished on the cross, then you stand on the same plane as all other believers. All believers will receive a full share of God’s inheritance, eternal life in heaven with Christ.

Someday it will be great to see Uncle Joe again; only this time, he’ll be standing upright as he greets me and welcomes me home.

Prayer

Dear Lord, help us to be inclusive with others. Clear our minds of petty prejudices based on race, creed, and color. Help us to share the Gospel story with everyone. We know that everyone who is a believer in your Son Jesus and what He did for us on the cross is saved.  Thank you for bringing you Grace to everyone. Amen

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