Daily Readings/ Editorial
Scriptures to be read before the sermon on Sunday, December 1:
Monday: Luke 2:1-14
Tuesday: Luke 7:36-50
Wednesday: John 14:25-27 and 16:33
Thursday: Romans 5:1-8
Friday: Ephesians 2:11-22
Saturday: Colossians 3:12-17
Editorial – “The Gift of the Son”
November 19, 2013
A story is told about a widowed elderly man who took great pride in his only child. The boy grew up to be a very experienced art collector. His trained eye and sharp business mind brought them not only several highly-valued pieces of art, but the admiration of art collectors around the world.
But then, the world became engulfed in war. The man’s son left to serve his country. After a few months, the father received a telegram – his beloved son had died saving the life of a fellow soldier. Distraught and lonely, the old man faced the upcoming holidays with great sadness. The joy of the season, which his son always loved so much, would be no more.
However, on Christmas morning, there was a knock on the door. As the old man slowly moved toward the door he made his way past all the masterpieces of art on the walls, which only reminded him that his son was not coming home. At the door was a soldier with a large package.
The soldier told the old man that he was the one whom the son had rescued. He asked the old man if he might come in because he had a gift for him. The old man welcomed him and the two were soon deep in conversation. From the soldier the old man learned that his son had also helped several other wounded soldiers before he died. This information helped ease the old man’s sense of grief.
The soldier also recounted how the son had spoken of his father’s love for fine art. Though the gift he had for the old man hardly fit that category, he hoped it would still be accepted. When the wrapping paper was pulled away, a portrait of the son appeared. Overcome with emotion, the old man thanked the soldier over and over again.
Once the soldier had departed, the old man set about hanging the portrait above his fireplace – pushing aside expensive paintings by great artists. Then seating himself in his chair, he spent Christmas day gazing at the gift he had been given. In the weeks that followed, the soldier’s gift became his most prized possession.
The following spring, the old man became ill and passed away. The art world stirred in anticipation of the public auction of the old man’s estate. He stipulated that his art collection was to be sold on Christmas Day – the day he had received his greatest gift. So on that day, collectors gathered to bid on the amazing collection of paintings.
The auction began with a painting not on any museum’s must-have list. It was the soldier’s painting of the old man’s son. The auctioneer asked for an opening bid. The room was silent. He then specifically asked for someone to open the bidding at $100. Again, the room was silent. One bidder from the back of the room shouted for the auctioneer to move on to the other paintings – the ones for which everyone had come. The auctioneer replied that the painting of the son must be sold first.
The auctioneer pleaded for anyone to bid on the portrait of the son. Finally, a friend of the old man spoke up. He would like to have it because he knew the boy and would offer ten dollars for it. The auctioneer called out – going once, going twice, sold!
Cheers filled the room. Everyone assumed that the auction for the high-priced paintings would begin. However, the auctioneer stunned the crowd by announcing that the auction was over. Those in attendance demanded to know what was happening. The auctioneer replied that according to the old man’s will, whoever took the son got it all.
As we prepare for the beginning of the holiday season and remember all that we have to be thankful for, let us especially remember the gift which is beyond all others – the gift of the Son.