Jesus Christ, the Savior and the Son of God, appeared this Christmas season for a moment among the people of the world. Oh, of course, this was not the coming in which He will appear according to his promise at the end of time in all His heavenly glory, and which will be sudden "as lightning flashing from east to west." No, He visited the modern world briefly as if to catch the real spirit of man in his enlightened age. He came softly and unobserved, and appropriately, He came during the Christmas season. The multicolored lights and trappings, the green boughs of the Yule tree, the hasty greeting of the season, and the nervous movements of crowds flowing from store to store, all signified the approach of Christmas-tide.
Perhaps the trace of a wry smile lightened His features as He thought of all this feverish activity. Truly, what was man celebrating and to what purpose? Supposedly they reveled in and paid homage to His birth. It mattered not so much that the time of celebration was altered from the actual event. What did matter was the spirit and intent engendered by the occasion. To determine the depth and direction of this spirit and intent was the purpose of His visit.
He moved silently in our midst with a gentle countenance and a smile of infinite com pass ion . The sun of love burning in His heart; light and power shining from His eyes. Yet, to nearly all, He is unrecognized -- but not totally so. An old man, blind from childhood, passing in the throng, touched His garments and perceived His being.
"O, Lord, heal me and I shall see," the old man cried.
And as it were, scales fell from his eyes and the blind man saw.
A child of the street, not too long from His heavenly presence, felt His influence and placed her tiny hand in His. This brief encounter with its silent exchange of knowing confidence and guileless love was reminiscent of similar occasions so long ago.
The blind man and the child shared for a brief moment that the entire world sought but was too busy to recognize.
He passed on through the madding throng, absorbing the moods of the occasion. A young couple stood in front of the music store. They were arguing rather heatedly over their financial status . These two, who were tenderly endeared to one another less than an hour ago, were now in real danger of losing that sweet feeling. "Oh, my children," thought the Savior. "As if the true spirit of love was measured by the cost or size of a trinket."
He recalled the story told of another couple -- the cutting of her hair to provide a watch chain -- and the sale of his watch to provide matching combs for her hair. Would that all lovers could feel this same spirit toward each other.
He passed by the unhappy opponents, fleetingly touching each in turn. Her lowered eyes, jeweled with tears, raised to meet those of her mate.
"I do love you."
"And I, you," he replied.
The young voices of a quartet elevated from the music store. The words: "All I want for Christmas is to keep the things I have."
The Savior, seeking sanctuary from the milling shoppers, made His way into a building and became a spectator, with others, of the traditional first grade portrayal of His birth. Emerson School had enacted the nativity story each year since its founding. This year the presentation had proved like all the rest, a test for teachers to get the correct reactions from six-year-old shepherds and wise men. One problem had been particularly persistent. The little boy with the round face and the very tender heart had been asked to play the part of the inn keeper. Each practice, when the time came for him to deny the saintly Mary and the quiet Joseph a place to sleep, he would develop a quivering lip and finally break into tears. He was just not able to turn them away. Finally, the teacher in charge felt that an understanding had been reached. She had carefully explained to the weeping inn keeper that it wasn't really his fault that the inn was full. It was just completely sold out and there was nothing he could do about it. This explanation seemed to restore the necessary emotional balance and the nativity was presented. The crucial moment arrived when the inn keeper had to do this imperative duty.
"There is no...,"
A quivering lip.
". . .room."
A sob, a pause, and then a half smile.
"But won't you come in for a drink of water?" There was little wonder in the Savior's heart as to why little children made up the bulk of His kingdom.
The department store was large and stocked to overflowing with nearly every conceivable device and need of man. The Christ made his way through the mountains of merchandise that paled the remembrances of the Phoenician bazaars and trading ships of long ago. A knot of people in one corner of the store attracted His attention. A flaxen bearded man with a red suit and black boots sat on a chair at the head of a long line of children and parents. Santa Claus looked tired and Jesus felt a distinct kinship to him, for He understood how tiring a day of requests could be.
Two little girls -- one six and the other about three -- made their way forward and essenced themselves on each knee of the bewhiskered union man. The usual pattern of question and answer followed.
"And what do you want Santa to bring you this Christmas?"
Instead of really listening to the replies, Santa was noticing the poor material and roughly patched clothing of the two. Stringy hair and pinched faces surrounded bright and expectant eyes.
"And have you been good little girls?"
Again, he failed to hear. Their stockings had long ago lost their elasticity and their shoes had disintegrated under the relentless wear given them.
Santa gave each eager pair of hands the plastic bank the store had provided for each child as a memento of the occasion. But he couldn't seem to let the experience end here. He reached into his pocket and drew forth nine coins and proceeded to place them alternately in each bank. The intense childish eyes grew wide with excitement, and Santa saw what joy even his small offering was bringing. Each coin had been received with such ecstacy that he wished each one could have been a hundred in number.
Each child had four coins in her possession and a moment of decision had arrived -- what to do with the ninth?
Santa asked, "And who should I give this last one to?" The older and more precocious spoke with little hesitation.
"Give it to my little sister."
The Savior saw the mist of emotion cloud the eyes of Santa Claus as he placed a kiss on two cheeks.
The Redeemer left as He had come, quietly and unobserved. He had seen and felt some of the good and the bad of the world. But He left with a confidence that right would prevail. The jarring and contending of governments seemed to be offset by the inherent good will emanating from man to man. It is true that the excessive commercial drive and intent of the Christmas season reminded Him somewhat of the money changers in a past time, but the spirit of "giving" was everywhere prevalent and dominated the commercialism found in some quarters. He noticed, too, that often the true meaning of Christmas was submerged under fable and folly. And yet, the underlying strength of the real story permeated all the other and influenced it for good.
If you suspect a misspelling, omission or other error in the above, please contact us describing the suspected error so that we can correct it.
If you're seeking help with locating a Holiday favorite, we invite you to join our Christmas Community Forums, where you can post a request for assistance in Christmas Stories, Poetry and Humor.
More resources can be found under Stories & Poetry and Humor in our Christmas Directory.
|Like this site? Share it.|