Christmas Greetings

Posted on December 19, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin in Down Home in Mississippi

Colorful decorations and the music of the season fill the days with a joyful spirit; Christmas pageants and special programs remind us that we celebrate God becoming man to redeem us from sin and give us an eternal hope–don’t miss the current “Rankin Connecting” on “Emmanuel: God with Us!” But one of our greatest blessings is re-connecting annually with friends from all over the world through greetings and family updates that come with the mountain of Christmas cards and letters.

Christmas-JerryTreeWhile we didn’t send personalized cards and greetings this year, we trust our far-flung family and friends will access this site to receive our heart-felt wishes for a blessed Christmas and a God-glorifying new year. We pray the season will bring a renewed awareness of the reality of living Savior in your life and confidence His Lordship will prevail in whatever your journey entails in 2013.

Christmas-BobbyeNativityWe have been so blessed in reflecting on a life journey that has taken us from Mississippi to Texas, to Southeast Asia for 23 years, touching the world through the International Mission Board for 17 years and now back to Mississippi. As we celebrate a Mississippi Christmas in retirement years and balmy weather we are reminded of the seasons of life highlighted by Christmas over the years.

When our children were small it was a time of excitement and intrigue as the pile of gifts and toys grew under the Christmas tree and the holidays were a time of going to grandmother’s house for a festive time of feasting and fellowship with aunts and uncles and cousins. During our 23 years on the mission field, where Christmas was not celebrated, the occasion was more austere. The church family was the center of worship and programs for believers in a culture where Christmas was not observed at home.

Christmas-HouseDecorationsThen as the children became adults, separated by oceans and living on different continents, it was rare for us to be together as a family during the holidays. Relatives and friends took them in during college years while we gathered with missionary colleagues. Then as we returned to the states, both children took their families to the mission field and the scenario was reversed.

Our daughter Lori and her family, continues to live and serve in Central Asia. We had the joy of visiting them in July this year and will be with them again in February as we converge on a return trip to her roots in Indonesia. Meanwhile, they will observe a quiet family Christmas in the remote Muslim country where they serve.

Our son Russell and his family now live in Nashville where he works with LifeWay Christian Resources in corporate media. They were with us Thanksgiving so will be with in-laws for the holidays; however, we are looking forward to a brief visit when they stop by on their way home after Christmas.

Christmas-DouglasFamMeanwhile, we do not celebrate alone; we continue our tradition of gathering with Bobbye’s sister’s family and all the Douglas clan in Brookhaven for Christmas dinner. While we miss our own children and grandchildren we are blessed to be assimilated into our extended family and a Mississippi Christmas after being away for 45 years.

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