My kids have a Christmas tradition with their grandmother (Gran) that they look forward to every year. They make Christmas sugar cookies from scratch and decorate them with colored icing and sprinkles. Sugar cookies are the best when they are still warm and fresh out of the oven…can I get an amen? When my kids were really young, their decorations weren’t so precise, and we could easily guess who decorated each cookie. They would take the cookie cutter shapes and cut them into various shapes like candy canes, ginger bread men, and stars, leaving some of them round like any other cookie. Occasionally, we’d find one of the gingerbread men with a missing limb. The cookies were never “professional”, but they were always perfect. My kids even bragged about which ones they had made, pointing to their favorites and reserving the ones they wanted personally and for us to enjoy. While sugar cookies are great, the time spent together building relationships is way more valuable and memorable.
God made each of us in His image (Genesis 1:27). None of us are exactly the same. Some are “decorated” differently and “cut” into various shapes and sizes. Unlike the sugar cookies, we were made professionally by the ultimate Creator. Jeremiah 1:5 says He formed us in our mother’s wombs, knew us, and set us apart. He not only created us, but He wants to have a relationship with us. One amazing thing about Jesus’ incarnation was He spent time with us. He not only dwelt among us (John 1:14), He became like one of us (Hebrews 2:17), experiencing everything we would (Hebrews 4:15) like rejection, pain, hunger, thirst, grief, sorrow, suffering, and death. Jesus knows what we go through because He came to this earth and went through it, yet without sin (1 Peter 2:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 3:5).
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.