Trophies Of His Grace
Isn’t it wonderful that we celebrate Christmas so soon after Thanksgiving because Thanksgiving Day provides us the occasion to recall the many blessings in our lives? Taking the time to be thankful is such a lovely way to prepare our hearts for Christmas.
Christmas time is not just a date on the calendar, not just another holiday. It is the celebration of the event that changed the world. God just didn’t create us and leave us to stumble along on earth’s journey. What a wonderful and glorious hope we have because of that first Christmas. We are an example of His forgiveness and mercy. We are trophies of His grace.
God comes in the night of our suffering and sorrow, saying, “I am with you. Let me share your burdens, your grief.” Christmas time is a special time for all of us. The gifts we give are special because of the person who will receive them. We think very carefully how each gift fits that particular person. When God looked upon mankind and saw our need, He chose something that fit every man, woman and child in every culture and in every era, every language and every country.
As a result He sent His beloved Son. He could have sent angels to guard every home. He could have sent prosperity to every man but nothing God could do would solve man’s most desperate problem of sin, separation from eternal, intimate fellowship with Him. As a result, God gave us His Son and in so doing provided mankind with the Ultimate Gift.
His life, death and resurrection are perfect expressions of God’s compassionate love for you and me. Just think; you’re here, not by chance, but by God’s choosing, His plan. He formed you and made you the person you are. He compares you to no one else. You are one of a kind. You lack nothing that His grace cannot give you. He has allowed you to be here at this time in History, to fulfill His special purpose for this generation.
There are many beautiful Christmas stories and songs. Here’s one that has such a message:
“Mary, Did You Know?” by Mark Lowrey and Buddy Greene
Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy will one day walk on water?
Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your Baby Boy has come to make you new; this child that you deliver will soon deliver you?
Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy will calm the storm with His voice?
Did you know that your Baby Boy has walked where angels had?
When you kiss your little Baby, you’ve kissed the face of God?
Mary, did you know that your Baby Boy is Lord of all creation?
And did you know that one day your Baby Boy will rule the nations?
Did you know that your Baby Boy is Heavens’ perfect lamb?
This sleeping child you’re holding is the Great I Am.
One of the most beautiful of all Christmas stories was told by an American poet, Edwin Markam, about a cobbler, a godly man, who made shoes in the old days.
“One night the cobbler dreamed that the next day Jesus was coming to visit him. The dream seemed so real that he got up very early the next morning and hurried to the woods where he gathered green boughs to decorate his shop for the arrival of so great a guest.
He waited all morning, but to his disappointment, his shop remained quiet except for an old man who limped up to the door asking to come in for a few minutes of warmth.
While the man was visiting, the cobbler noticed that the old fellow’s shoes were worn through. Touched, the cobbler took a new pair from his shelves and saw to it that the stranger was wearing them as he went on his way.
Throughout the afternoon, the cobbler waited, but his only visitor was an elderly woman. He’d seen her struggling under a heavy load of firewood and he invited her into his shop to rest. When he discovered that for two days she’d had nothing to eat, he saw to it she had a nourishing meal before she went on her way.
As night began to fall, the cobbler heard a child crying outside his door. The child was lost and afraid. The cobbler went out, soothed the youngster’s tears and with the little hand in his, took the child home.
When he returned, the cobbler was sad. He was convinced that while he’d been away, he’d missed the visit of the Lord. Now he lived through the moments as he had imagined them: the knock, the latch lifted, the radiant face. He would have kissed those nail-scarred hands, washed the feet where the spikes had entered. The Lord would have sat and talked to him.
In anguish, the cobbler cried out, ‘Why is it, Lord, that your feet delay? Have you forgotten that this is 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 man with the bruised feet. I was the woman you gave to eat. I was the child on the homeless street.”
Matthew 25:40 (Jesus speaking)
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.