A Christmas Legacy

Bob Butcher

Christmas Message for December 25, 2017

Christmas tradition and things like Pere Noel & Santa Clause and so many more around the world; plus our own family traditions are passed down through families to the next generation. Take a moment here and remember these for instance:

As you savor a candy cane this Christmas, say “danke schön” to the Germans, for that confectionary treat was first created in Cologne. As you admire your poinsettia, say “gracias” to Mexico, where the plant originated. Say “merci beaucoup” to the French for the term noel, and give a “cheers” to the English for your mistletoe.

(Pere Noel in many European countries like France and Netherlands leaves candy (and sometimes other special gifts) in the kids shoes they put in front of the fireplace before they go to Christmas Eve Mass. That way the kids go to sleep and don’t stay awake all night trying to see him instead of our Santa Claus tradition. (Not a bad choice of tradition for parents of little kids, huh?)

Unfortunately, I guess today the commercialism of giving toys on Christmas morning is taking over instead world-wide.

Our legacies are important in life. How else do people know who we are or were… in our heart, in our passions, in keeping family traditions strong thru the next generations? Or else, how do our grandkids & great (and further down the line) grand children know us? 

Our legacy imparts inspiration to society & generations that have lost or are losing strong important values in the day they live…like these days we live in today!

We can be the ones that light the fire that changes a family, town, state, nation, and world. 

I am big on leaving a legacy. It is Extremely important to me. Not only to my family today, but to my NASCAR family as well. My racing love and passion may pass onto my grandkids one day and someday down the line maybe even to drive themselves. 

While that’s true, the Lord took my course on a very different path and made the gift & legacy a much more important and ongoing gift to people. That’s what made me count my success and driving career into being like what the Apostle Paul said in Philippians 3:7-9: ...”But whatever gain I had made I counted as dung (or a waste of my life) for the sake of Christ.  Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have suffered the loss of things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law and my own good works, but instead that which comes through faith in Christ, with His gift of forgiveness, righteousness, and faith just like He was Santa delivering the greatest gift to us and to share with others.” (GBB)

Hopefully, Kathy and my love for each one of you and our passion to share the legacy of Christ Jesus around NASCAR will leave an enduring legacy for generations to come in NASCAR.  While that foundation for you to build upon may be our greatest gift to you and our entire NASCAR racing family, it’s also our gift to God for His glory.

Once I got to know Christ Jesus I have come to realize just who is “the real Santa Claus”… and that is God the Father!  He, and He alone, can grant the real and important miracles, plus meet the needs we have as humans and get it perfectly right on the first try every time.

Ponder that picture of Santa awhile.  I know it is different, but maybe it’s a better picture of a true-to-life Santa to trust and believe in. The gifts He gives us may not be wrapped in shiny, paper under the tree, but beautifully in our heart.

In closing… the food and traditions, and the legacies passed down about Christmas bring us together and help us understand it’s true meaning. It’s a time of tradition and rebirth. We get to enjoy both the past and look forward to the future as our traditions and legacies blend with our mate the Lord gave us, …as it has for Kathy and me.  And, if you are young and meeting that lifetime mate hasn’t happened yet, it is a dream to wait for. Remember also, It’s main ingredient isn’t the place (town, state, nation, etc. like Santa or Pere Noel). That doesn’t matter. It’s the people who we surround ourselves with… The ones we share our traditions and legacy with. Those are the true values of Christmas and our personal lives, family and friends we can toast too as we celebrate Christmas each year. 

May your Christmas be especially wonderful this year …that’s Kathy and my prayer for you this year.