And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased!" Luke 2:10-14
I've never been sure why I like Salvation Army Christmas bell-ringers.
Whatever the reason, if I have the time, I stop and visit with them. This past week, a story out of Louisiana gave me one more question to ask.
What story? Oh, maybe you didn't hear. In Shreveport, an anonymous cashier's check was dropped into one of the bell-ringers' red kettles -- a check for $100,000. That's not the kind of thing that happens every day, and the news of the donation raced like wildfire through the ranks of the Salvation Army.
Last night, I asked one of our local bell-ringers what he thought of the gift. This is what he said, "It's a wonderful donation and it's going to make a lot of difference to a lot of people. But not everybody can give that kind of gift." He continued, "Times is tough. They're going to get tougher before they get better. I see all kinds of people doing what they can do ... and some are doing even more than they can do. Everybody is trying to help them who have even less than they do."
Thinking about what the ringer had said, I thought, yes, this Christmas season began with the Lord sending one very large gift: His Son, Jesus Christ. Nobody other than our Father in heaven could have given such a precious blessing. And because that gift was sent, a lot of people, a lot of souls will be saved.
In appreciation for the Lord's great gift you and I have developed the custom of passing smaller, lesser presents on to others.
We do what we can do ...
... in thanks to the Lord for sending His Son, the Babe of Bethlehem, the Christ of the cross, the Savior of the open sepulcher.
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, for sending Your Son to make a great difference in the eternal destinies of sinful souls, You have my thanks. Now, in these last hours before we celebrate His birth, grant that everyone who gives a gift may remember what You have done. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries
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