They asked, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We’ve seen his star in the east, and we’ve come to honor him. “-Matthew 2:2 (CEB)


By some miracle almost all twenty-four of us were there. The only one we were missing was Tim (off doing mission work in Africa).
Otherwise, all four generations were represented at Mom’s house on Christmas Day: Mom, my brother, my two sisters, our spouses, our children, my sister’s grandchildren. “Picture time!” someone shouted. “We’ve got to document this.”
We trooped outside, gathering on Mom’s front porch. The question was: Who would take this photo? We all needed to be in it. “Maybe one of the neighbors.” My older sister, Gioia, dashed across the street and knocked on a door. Mom had only lived in this house for a little while so we didn’t really know the neighbors, but I could imagine exactly what Gioia said: “I hate to interrupt your Christmas, but if one of you could spare a few moments, we need someone to take our picture …. “
Next thing we knew, a fellow with just the right camera equipment was heading toward us. Carol took over for a moment as art director. “The kids in front, some of you should sit on the step, Peggy, you can stand …. ” No telling how long the patience of the under-four set would last.
“Smile,” someone said. We smiled while Mom’s neighbor clicked , away. This was a moment to treasure. Then we broke up and went back inside for dinner. About an hour later there was a knock at the door. Mom’s neighbor. Not only had he made a disc with all the good shots on it, but he’d also framed the best print.
“You know, I have the nicest neighbors,” Mom said. A gift from a neighbor and a neighbor who was himself a gift.
As the wise ones from the East brought gifts to You, we give thanks for the gifts we receive, every one of them a treasure
. -Rick Hamlin
Digging Deeper: Isaiah 9:6; Philippians 2:8-10


…….”Doctor, I have an ear ache.”
2000 B.C. – “Here, eat this root.”
1000 B.C. – “That root is heathen, say this prayer.”
1850 A.D. – “That prayer is superstition, drink this potion.”
1920 A.D. – “That potion is snake oil, swallow this pill.”
1975 A.D. – “That pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic.”

2001 A.D. – “That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root!”