jeffrey.jpgAs we celebrate Christ’s birthday, let us remember the men and women who are serving our nation in the military and our GARBC Chaplains who minister to them.  The following poem reminds us this holiday season of our soldiers who are away from home and of Christ’s provision for all. Jill Connell, wife of Pastor Tim Connell, Faith Baptist Church, Lancaster, Ohio, penned this poem while thinking of her son, Jeffrey, who is serving with the Navy Seabees in Afghanistan.

Dear Soldier, Merry Christmas

Dear Soldier, Merry Christmas from
Your homeland, USA;
Amidst the grand festivities
We think of you today.

For in this time of giving gifts
Your greater gift is clear-
You’re spending Christmas far away
To guard our peace back here.

You’re giving us a Christmas gift
That has no store tag price;
You’re keeping safe our families
At your own sacrifice.

So when we raise our banner high
To wave red, white, and blue;
We thank our God for freedom, and
We thank God for you!

And as we trim our Christmas trees
We’ll place on them your star,
Which prompts our hearts to pray for you-
God knows right where you are…

We pray, He’ll wrap His awesome arms
Around you- oh, so tight-
That you’ll be strengthened in His love,
Empowered by His might.

For Jesus was away from home
The Christmas of His birth;
He left his royal throne above
To live upon the earth…

And fight the battle of our sin
Through suffering and shame;
That we might claim His victory,
Believing in His Name…

His ultimate of sacrifice
And perfect gift to give
Brings hope and peace within our hearts;
In Him we ever live!

We’re thankful that the Christmas Christ
Is with us everywhere
And, though you’re far across the sea,
The Christmas Christ is there.

Dear Soldier, as we pray for you,
You’re not so far away;
For prayers can travel many miles-
Christ bless your Christmas Day.
Jill R. Connell