A Drop In The Bucket…
Writing in the Boston Globe, Kiera Blessings tells about an unusual gift dropped in one of the familiar red Salvation Army donation buckets commonly seen at this time of year near storefronts and malls. She writes, “The Salvation Army receives some strange items in its red kettles during the Christmas season. Lieutenant Michael Harper, commander of the Cambridge Salvation Army in Boston said, "In addition to money, I've seen watch batteries, paper clips, safety pins, all sorts of strange things, but this one takes the cake." The gift was a diamond engagement ring given by a widow in honor of her late husband. The charity says the anonymous benefactor placed the diamond ring—valued at $1,850—and her wedding band in one of the kettles placed outside Boston's North Station.
The rings were donated along with a note honoring the benefactor's late husband: "I've dropped my wedding ring in your Red Kettle knowing that the money from its sale will buy toys for needy children," the woman wrote. "In all seasons, my husband was a giver. I especially remember his joy in giving at Christmastime, especially to those in need. To honor his memory, I donate this ring." The rings sold a few days later for an astonishing $21,000, eleven times their appraised value.
The anonymous donor did give some clue to part of her motivation, writing a short proverb at the bottom of her note: "To find out what a man is worth, take away his money and his possessions."
But there is also another way to find out what a man is worth; it’s by seeing what God did to redeem him. Nowhere is that value better expressed than through the celebration of Christmas. A celebration that reminds us that God left His throne in Heaven and came to earth to be born in the form of a man called Jesus Christ. His mission was clear from the beginning and Jesus stated it this way… “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”” (Luke 19:10) And the angel declared, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of 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.” (Luke 2:10-11) He would live a sinless life and one day die for sinful humanity.
All of this God did in order to restore us, redeem us and relate to us. He did it because He loves us, because we couldn’t help ourselves, and most of all because we are valuable to Him. That is what a man is worth to God… and that is why Christmas is so central to our faith. He was Christmas, He is Christmas and He will always be Christmas!
There are many in our world today that love all the “perks” of Christmas but hate the reason that we celebrate the season. For many their hatred comes down to the very name of Christmas because it has the word Christ within it. For some their solution is to change the name to a less obvious meaning, you know something like… “Winter Festival”. For others it can be the to refusal to sing songs that contain any reference to Christ, and still for some individuals and merchants it is to identify the celebration with a “Happy Holiday” rather than utter a “Merry Christmas”.
And here is the irony of it all which those who want to eradicate the identity of Christmas miss, were it not for Christ… they would not even have a “Happy Holiday”, with all its perks to experience, (the Christmas season began, like it or not, as a response to the birth of Jesus). Further, there would be no “Winter Festival” to celebrate, and there would be no songs of any kind, whether secular or sacred to sing and play during this time were it not for one solitary life that came into the world 2000+ years ago to be the Savior of mankind. So all through the month lets say it loud, say it unashamed and say it with love—the kind of love that started the celebration in the first place…Merry Christmas to all.
This afternoon we kick off the Christmas Music Season… join us at 4:00 PM for an evening of musical worship of our Savior. And remember, God is always trying to take us someplace new. I love being your pastor!!!
For God’s Glory Alone,