We took a ride last evening to our son and daughter-in-law’s home about 50 miles away. In this season many of the homes are lighted in brightly colored decorations, and also a number of those inflatable lawn figures of Santa, Disney characters, and others. We even saw a blow up dog – I think it was supposed to be a dog – that had to be taller than I am. There were a number of manger scenes reminding those passing by of the wonderful birth we are celebrating. It was also interesting to see a number of homes that included a lighted cross with their decorations. I was very glad to see these reminders that the Christmas event can’t be separated from the redeeming act the Child of Bethlehem came to do on our behalf. The manger and the cross are bound together as one act of God’s gracious love for mankind. All of the lights and decorations are festive as they should be for the celebration of this birth. But it is the cross that brought us our greatest gift, life in Jesus Christ our Lord.