The Morgan Church Devotional

a pastor's thoughts about...uhm...stuff

Location: Morgan, VT., United States

follower of Jesus. husband & father. friend. pastor.

Monday, December 24, 2007

A Christmas Parable

A Christmas Parable

There once was a man, a wealthy man
A man who had both been born into money and
Who worked very hard at building his wealth

His factory was the sole economic source for
the people of the valley

He was, overall, a kind man
He thought he treated the people right…
Although as a business man who was concerned with the bottom line, he had made a few enemies in his time

One day this man, now old, looks out his window
This window overlooked the valley
Where poverty reigned
He often wondered why the people of the valley
Lived in such squalor…
Why they remained poor…

And, moved with compassion…a desire to help them change
He gathered up 4 of his latest gadgets
He called it the “prospero6000”
A machine designed to eliminate poverty
It worked differently for each person

But it did work

He stood up…dressed in his overcoat, hat and
He made his way to town

He thought to himself that he didn’t want to be recognized as the old man on the hill so he pulled his scarf close over his face
And his hat down
And began pulling his wagon to the town

All the way praying the people would be open to receive his gift

He came to the first door
Knocked…waited. Knocked again. Waited some more.
Knocked a third time.
And just as he was about to leave

A bitter and angry man appeared at his door.

The old man offered his gift to the bitter man
The bitter man just stared
Another time the old man offered the gift
And, never breaking his stare, the bitter man slammed the door

He was a poor man…and in his poverty he became bitter
Blaming God and the old man
And every one else for his poverty

The old man, a bit sad, but still determined, began making his way to the next house.

He knocked and waited again. Soon a man came to the door
Not quite as mean as the first man
But not happy either…let’s call him disinterested

The old man offered his gift, and, surprisingly the disinterested man took the gift. And immediately shut the door.
He didn’t care much for gifts
Even tho he was poor…
He took that gift, unopened, and thru it on his junk heep
And it sits there to this day

The old man made his way to the third home and barely knocked b4 the door opened.
He offered his gift to the amiable man who answered the door
The man readily took it…thanked the old man with a handshake and a smile and closed the door.
He looked at the gift…called his family over
Opened it up
And confused as to what it was
Put it up on the shelf

They take it down now and again
And use it for a paper weight or a door stop
But mostly it sits up on the shelf

The old man made his way to the fourth home
And b4 he could knock the door opened and the old man was greeted with a hug from a friendly man
The friendly man recognized the old man…he had been helped b4
He felt the old man was his friend
He gladly accepted the old man’s gift, hugged him, thanked him
Called his family over and opened the gift
They knew immediately what to do with it
And they became very prosperous

In fact, they gave their machine away to other people who needed it and wanted it.

There is a poverty in our world that doesn’t have to be.
It is a spiritual poverty
And just as the old man was moved with compassion and decided to do something
So is God

Now this poverty has lots of symptoms
Emptiness…bitterness…anger…hatred…jealousy…hurt… depression…infidelity…abuse…alienation…dissatisfaction… disaffectedness…feelings of frustration feelings of failure…failure…anguish…sickness…alcohol and drug addiction…murder and mayhem and so on and so on

Those are symptoms and our world is full of them
Maybe you have a few of those symptoms
Or you’ve felt the effects of them

They aren’t the sickness, though
The sickness is sin
We are products of a fallen world
And we are, therefore, born out of fellowship with God

That is the sickness…and we look for remedies
And our remedies cause all the symptoms

But, in reality, God knows our plight
Knows our problems
Knows our sickness
And He sent the Remedy

His Name is Jesus
We’re celebrating His birth tonight
He was born in a stable and laid in a manger
The shepherds came…the wise men came
His mom was a virgin
It’s all true…the story is.

But it’s not the end of the story.
The babe became a boy
The boy became a man
The man was the Saviour of the world
Who died for your sin
He became our sin
He suffered the punishment that was due us
To cure our sickness
To heal our souls
To relieve our symptoms

Who are you tonight?

The bitter man…angry with God for some perceived slight?

The disinterested man…even tho you are spiritually poor, rejecting the gift that will make you well

The amiable man…
Taking the gift but not using it for it’s real purpose…

The friendly man…the receptive man…who willingly and happily takes the gift and is blessed and begins to bless others

Your choice. Choose well.

Thanks to Bill for being the old man
Now, we have a part to play

Lighting of the candles


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent Christmas Eve Service


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