Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The True Spirit of Christmas

Key verse for today: Matthew 7:12

So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

Edwin Markham wrote a poem based on a story by Tolsoy that beautifully illustrates how we may demonstrate the true Christmas spirit.
One night Conrad, a cobbler of shoes, dreamed that Christ would come to his shop on the following day. Early the next morning Conrad went to the woods to gather greens and flowers to decorate his simple shop for the Lord's coming.

All morning he waited, but the only visitor was an old man who asked if he might sit down to rest. Conrad saw that his shoes were worn. Before sending the stranger on his way Conrad put the best pair of shoes in the shop on the old man's feet.

Throughout the afternoon Conrad waited for the Lord's coming, but the only person he saw was an old woman struggling under a heavy load. Out of compassion he brought her in and gave her some of the food he had prepared for Christ. She went on her way refreshed.

Just as evening was falling, a lost child entered Conrad's shop. Conrad carried the child home, and then hurried back, lest he miss the coming of Christ.

Though Conrad waited long and patiently, Christ did not come. Finally, in disappointment, the old cobbler cried:

"Why is, Lord, that your feet delay?
Did you forget that this was the day?"
Then soft in the silence a voice he heard:
"Lift up your heart, for I kept my word.
Three times I came to your friendly door;
Three times my shadow was on your floor.
I was the beggar with the bruised feet;
I was the woman you gave to eat;
I was the child on the homeless street!".

God is all around us and in us. He is in our actions, our words, and our hearts. Everything we do for others, we do for God.
Merry Christmas everyone!

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