Our Christmas Offering

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{We Three Kings by Simon Dewey}

You’ve probably heard of Norman Vincent Peale. But if not, he was minister and author {The Power of Positive Thinking and many others}, and he and his wife started the Guideposts religious magazine. He tells of an experience he had on a cold Christmas Eve while shopping with his father when he was about twelve years old. In The Positive Principle Today, pages 292-95, he writes:

I was thinking how good it would be to get home, when a beggar – a bleary-eyed, unshaven, dirty old man – came up to me, touched my arm with a hand like a claw, and asked for money. He was so repulsive that instinctively I recoiled. Softly my father said, “Norman, it’s Christmas Eve. You shouldn’t treat a man that way.”

…”Dad,” I complained, “he’s nothing but a bum.”

“But he’s still a child of God,” my father said.

He then handed me a dollar – a lot of money for those days and certainly for a preacher’s income. “I want you to take this and give it to that man,” he said. “Speak to him respectfully. Tell him you are giving it to him in Christ’s name.”

“Oh Dad,” I protested, “I can’t do anything like that.”

My father’s voice was firm. “Go and do as I tell you.”

So, reluctant and resisting, I ran after the old man and said, “Excuse me, sir. I give you this money in the name of Christ.”

He stared at the dollar bill, then looked at me in utter amazement. A wonderful smile came to his face, a smile so full of life and beauty that I forgot that he was dirty and unshaven… Graciously he said, “And I thank you, young sir, in the name of Christ.”

All my irritation, all my annoyance faded away. The street, the houses, everything around me suddenly seemed beautiful because I had been part of a miracle that I have seen many times since – the transformation that comes over people when you think of them as children of God, when you offer them love in the name of a Baby born two thousand years ago in a stable in Bethlehem, a Person who still lives and walks with us and makes His presence known.

_____________________

I’m thankful for this uplifting story that reminds me, yet again, that we are all children of God, and that we have a responsibility to love, respect, and treat others as Christ would and as we would want to be treated and loved ~ The Golden Rule. Among the gifts we can offer Christ, in exchange for the many gifts we have received, are the love and kindness we show others. What a wonderful lesson Mr. Peale taught his son, Norman, that day, and Norman has passed it on so we, too, may learn from it.

I hope you’re having a blessed Christmas season.

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