Peace and joy to all of you this Christmas season!
One of the greatest national efforts of the 20th century was Russia's effort to build a space station and have men live for extended periods of time in space. The world gained much valuable knowledge from the Russian space station program, especially about human health.
One of the first things scientists discovered was the vital importance of gravity. The first men that lived in space for extended periods of time came back with heart issues. They had trouble walking. Their muscles had atrophied. Muscles need to work to stay healthy. Take away gravity and the muscles just did not have to work enough. It turns out my old coach was right. "No pain, no gain" wasn't just a cliché to get me to work harder.
In a way, this old cliché' captures the heart of Christmas. Jesus, beloved Son of God, came down to earth at Christmas. He volunteered. He had a mission. He would become "a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief". He would die a brutal death. He would experience all the pain of being human. And he would gain eternal life for His people. His gift, freely given, would give hope to mankind. His pain would be our gain. He knew..."no pain, no gain".
Here is another cliché'; "Jesus is the reason for the season". He is the focus here at GRCES. We celebrate Jesus' birth at Christmas. We teach children that we remember and honor his gift by giving gifts ourselves. We make Christmas a special time for children so they come to understand the central importance Jesus has in our lives. We put extra effort into loving our neighbors and cherishing our families. And we remember that Jesus was willing to suffer for us. In a word, we teach children to be thankful...thankful for Jesus.
So, Merry Christmas to all GRCES families! Enjoy the blessings that the season brings.