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 Issue #108 Fri, 29 Dec 2006

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seeker of truth

Female Number of posts : 2309
Age : 26
Real Name : Alyssa
Location : Eastern USA
Registration date : 2006-12-17

PostSubject: Issue #108 Fri, 29 Dec 2006   March 12th 2007, 00:55

The Greatest Gift

Dear Youth,

Last week I went into town with my family to do some Christmas shopping, we decided to go early, hoping it wouldn't be so crowded and that we might be able to find a parking spot easier. However, when we arrived in town it looked like everyone else had the same idea. We still had to wait to get into the car park and we still had to drive up to the eighth level to find a parking spot. We entered the mall and made our way through crowds of people, to the shop we wanted to look in. Each store along the way advertised it's specials and sales trying to lure the masses of customers into their store. Lights and tinsel also decorated the shop windows. As I helped my little brother pick out his gifts for mum and dad, I saw other shoppers also looking for the perfect gifts for their loved ones.

The one thing I noticed when I was shopping in those stores is that nowhere did I see anything about Jesus. It seems that people have forgotten the true meaning of Christmas, in fact they have forgotten why Christmas even exists! They have forgotten that Christmas is a time to remember the great gift that God gave us in sending Jesus as a little infant to come to this earth and save the human race.

The real reason for Christmas is not just a time give and receive gifts or to decorate our houses. While these things are nice, the real reason for Christmas is to have a time where we remember the baby Jesus born in a manger.

Jesus came into this world in a manger in a little stable behind an inn in Bethlehem. He grew up here on this earth and lived a life of ministry. His whole life was devoted to saving human souls. In John 3:16,17 it says: "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved". "By giving his only begotten Son to die on the cross, God has shown us the estimate he places on the human soul. All that the world admires, all that it calls precious sinks into insignificance when placed in the balance with one soul: for priceless ransom has been paid for that soul. All heaven was given in one gift" (Youth's Instructor July 20, 1899).

Jesus came to this earth to save us and he finished his ministry here on this earth with his death on Calvary. His death on that cruel cross was the ultimate sacrifice that any man could make. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13). Jesus laid down his life for you and me. He died so that we could have eternal life. This gift was the greatest that had ever been given and the greatest that will ever be given for mankind.

I would now like to share a story about one of the best Christmas gifts ever given.

A new pastor and his wife had been assigned a church in a place named Brooklyn in New York. The old church was dilapidated and in much need of repair. It was their job to fix up the church and reopen it. They had arrived in October and hoped to have the church all finished by Christmas so they could have an opening service on Christmas Eve.

Renovations were going well, in fact they were even ahead of schedule. They were sure to finish in plenty of time for the first service, but on December 19 a terrible storm hit Brooklyn. After the storm the pastor went to look at the church hoping that no damage had been done. But when he opened the door to the sanctuary his heart sank. There right behind the pulpit the roof had leaked causing a large piece of plaster to fall to the floor leaving a big hole in the wall. The pastor, not knowing what else to do, cleaned up the mess and started on his way home.

On his way home the pastor came across a local market, trying to raise money for charity. So he decided to stop and have a look. After looking around a little he spotted a table cloth, this tablecloth was quite exquisite, it had beautiful colors woven into it, and a cross was crocheted right in the middle. He bought the tablecloth and decided to use it as a wall hanging to hang over the hole in the church. As he was heading back to the church through the snow, he saw an older woman standing by the road, she had just missed her bus and another one was not due for 45 minutes.

The pastor invited her into the warm church to wait while he hung up this tablecloth he had just purchased. After he had hung it up he turned around and saw the lady walking up the isle looking at this tablecloth. He asked here why she was staring at it, and she asked him if the initials E.G.B were crocheted on the back. The pastor looked and sure enough they were. Then she told him that she and her husband were well-to-do people in Austria before the Nazis came and they had to flee, she said that this tablecloth looked liked one she had made for her husband. She was sent ahead of her husband, but she was captured and put in prison. She never saw her husband again.

The pastor was amazed and offered to give her the tablecloth, but she said she would like the church to have it. The pastor then decided that the least he could do for her would be to take her home.

On Christmas Eve there was a wonderful service in the little church, and many people came. After the service when the pastor had shaken the last hand, he noticed an old man, sitting in the back of the church staring at the tablecloth that the pastor had hung on the wall. The pastor recognized the man as a man that lived in the neighborhood, and so he went up to him and asked him why he was staring at it. The man said that it looked like a tablecloth his wife had once crocheted for him. "Does it by chance have the initials E.G.B. on the back of it" he asked. The pastor told him that they were there, and then the old man proceeded to tell the pastor a story very similar to the woman's story he had heard just a few days before. He said that when the Nazis took over Austria where they lived, they had to flee, and he sent his wife ahead. He was to follow a little later but he was captured and put into prison. He never saw his wife again.

The pastor was very excited, but he simply asked the man if he could take him for a ride. He drove the man to the woman's house and there after 35 years the couple were reunited on Christmas Eve, and I am sure that this was one of the greatest gifts the pastor ever gave to anyone.

--Talisa Jackson

PLEASE NOTE: This is copyrighted material
PLEASE NOTE: All Bible verses are taken from the King James Version, unless stated otherwise.
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Issue #108 Fri, 29 Dec 2006
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