(December 21, 2022) Maureen McQuillan responds to a thoughtful friend…

Dear Pastor Maureen

Just curious, my friend… I know you have lots of memories of experiences with God and life itself. Was wondering what special memories or thoughts come to you at this Christmas season? Rebecca.

Hi Beccie

Gosh, what can I tell you? I have quite a few… but, apart from great church carol services as a child praising God for the gift of His Son, Jesus, I’ll tell you of the two major ones that always come back to me, indeed I’ll always remember them, and have written about them before! (And a thought.. number three).

Number 1… Christmas Day itself
I can never forget Christmas Day way back in 1962!
Our precious daughter Wendy was born! Robert and I were so young, still regarded as kids in many ways, even though we were in our very early twenties. With the Lord’s help everything went well, including a miracle and other delights…

  • Wendy’s arrival…  a special miracle baby. How a special miracle? you might ask. As I shared in an earlier article, most doctors back then were recommending the ‘new miracle pill for pregnant mothers – thalidomide.’ Later the horrendous results of that tablet were discovered. Miraculously, mysteriously, as I went to take a first one, the whole bottle of pills spilled into the sink and down through the old-fashioned wide-holed plug cavity! I felt led by the Spirit not to ask for a repeat script and, praise God, I had a healthy bright, beautiful daughter.
  • When the doctor on check-up duty, a very tall thinnish chap, saw the brightness in her eyes and shiny black hair, his own eyes opened wide and he asked, ‘What have you been eating? She’s so healthy. And those eyes!’ When I told him grapefruit, his response was ‘Hmm. That’s the best thing you could have eaten.’ No one had suggested grapefruit to me… it was the only refreshing fruit I could think of at the time.
  • Surprise of discovering the nurse on duty was an old friend from church.
  • Then local TV technicians arrived to picture Christmas day babies and the crew all loved Wendy! We both looked good on the TV news that night.
  • And, oh, the look on Robert’s face when he first saw his daughter! He’s called her ‘his second girl’ ever since, the great delight of his life, especially as she has accomplished and achieved so much over the years… and still does!
  • It suddenly snowed… and everybody back home in Northern Ireland had been hoping for such a traditional white Christmas.

Number 2… Saving the lost Santa
In easy to understand ways, we told our little granddaughter, Bonnie-Jane (Robert’s third girl), the truth about Christmas – that its central meaning is that Jesus came to save sinners through the John 3:16 salvation God offers, that He is the greatest ‘Christmas gift’ ever. And that Santa doesn’t replace Jesus.

But although she knew where Christmas gifts really come from, we never wanted her missing out on the fun of Christmastime. I will never forget the Christmas we took our delightfully happy and pleasant little five-year-old grandchild to hear the carol singing in a big Myer store, and enjoy seeing Santa. Her eyes were popping wide at the colorful decorations and she was enjoying the carol music and singing along, or singing something to the music. But Santa, it seemed, was missing, nowhere to be found.

Then the music stopped abruptly and above the noise of busy chattering shoppers, a serious-sounding message was heard on the store tannoy…‘Calling Santa, calling Santa Claus… where are you, Santa?

Although Bonnie-Jane didn’t say anything her expression indicated she was concerned. Just as we were passing an elevator, the doors slide open and there was Santa in full flowing beard and colourful gear.

Spotting him, little Bonnie let go off our hands, and instantly rushed over to him. Grabbing his legs, and hugging the plump jovial figure close, she exclaimed, ‘I found you, Santa. You were lost but I found you, I saved you!’

What does the Bible say about ‘out of the mouths of babes’…? (Matthew 11:25; Psalm 8:2).

Now a delightful young lady, and sensitive to the Holy Spirit, allowing Him to lead her in helping people with needs, Bonnie is married to Matthew, a great caring young man, and a great mum herself. (Her own first baby, Avaleigh Grace – Wendy’s first granddaughter, and our first great-grandchild, is Robert’s fourth girl!).

Number 3… This year’s Christmas Day
I await to be surprised as it’s the first time in decades I won’t be organising Christmas lunch with everyone coming here! The family will be at Wendy and Steve’s and I know she’ll have a great day planned.

Well, Beccaie, I trust that these few thoughts bless you. I’ll wrap up this Q&A by saying I’m so glad that you too know the babe of Bethlehem as your friend, Saviour and interceder. Keep trusting Him! The world is still in a real mess currently – sin is still the major probneedy and the unsaved.

Oh… back to Bonnie-Jane. The point is that even the ‘Santas’ of this world need saving! Here’s a precious image depicting ‘the world’s Christmas centrepiece’ acknowledging God’s centrepiece!

May everyone honour God and Jesus this Christmas!

Got a question for Pr Maureen or Dr Robert McQuillan? Email either: OnlinerConnect@gmail.com / Facebook

One comment

  1. Really appreciated your personal stories, Maureen, the photos and that image of the world’s Christmas centrepiece (I’ve never seen it before) reminds me of the scripture that one day every knee will bow.

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