December 17, Luke 2:8-12
By Alberta Gilpin, Education and Administration Director, Parkade Baptist Church, Columbia
What a gift! The message of the Messiah was hand-delivered by the angels to a group of shepherds there in the middle of the night. That message is still a gift for us today — the gift of salvation.
Speaking of gifts — we had family pictures taken on Nov. 1. What a gift! You see, the family was my Romanian family. They have adopted me as their American mother, grandmother and now great grandmother — otherwise known as "Mamamia."
Almost 20 years later, it is hard for me to imagine life without them. I can remember the first time I met Tudor and Maria late one night at Columbia Regional Airport and our first few weeks together as we learned to communicate. God gifted us in being able to understand.
Then there was the trip to New York City to pick up their two children after almost two years of separation. What a reunion! I think the angels san that day, too.
As I look at those pictures, lots of memories flood my soul, and once again, I thank God for the gift of family.
It now takes more than an eight-place setting to get us all around the table. We now number nine. Ramona is married to Dustin, and they have Alexa, 4, and Isaac, who is 3 months old today. Calin married Flori in Romania just 19 months ago. We see each other at least weekly and that is another gift.
Thank you, God, for a very special family, the Rafas. Most of all, God, thank you for the gift of your Son whose birthday we celebrate.