Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father,as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:6 – 7
Our November month of gratitude is coming to a close and what a blessing it has been. But what a wonderful season is ahead for us as we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. As we prepare our hearts for this special day and time to come, may we be grateful for Him and His gift to the world.
Below is a beautiful story that many of you may have read, but no matter how many times I read it, it puts into perspective what our Christian faith is all about. And that is believing that God, our Father, loves us and desires to give us the best He has to give. And that gift is His Son. For we know that if we have received His Son into our lives, we will truly come to know God for the loving Father He is, and he will always provide us with everthing we need.
As winter approached, war engulfed the nation, and the young man left to serve his country. After only a few short weeks, his father received a telegram. His son had died. Distraught and lonely, the old man faced the upcoming Christmas holidays with anguish and sadness. The joy of the season had vanished with the death of his son.
On Christmas morning, a knock on the door awakened the depressed old man. As he walked to the door, the masterpieces of art on the walls only reminded him that his son was not coming home. As he opened the door he was greeted by a soldier with a large package in his hands who said, “I was a friend of your son. I was the one he was rescuing when he died. May I come in for a few moments? I have something to show you.”
The soldier mentioned that he was an artist and then gave the old man the package. The paper gave way to reveal a portrait of the man’s son. Though the world would never consider it the work of a genius, the painting featured the young man’s face in striking detail. Overcome with emotion, the man hung the portrait over the fireplace, pushing aside paintings worth millions of dollars. His task completed, the old man sat in his chair and spent Christmas gazing at the gift he had been given.
The painting of his son soon became his most prized possession, far eclipsing any interest in the pieces of art for which museums around the world clamored.
The following spring, the old man died. The art world waited with anticipation for the upcoming auction. According to the will of the old man, all the art works would be auctioned on Christmas Day, the day he had received the greatest gift.
The day soon arrived and art collectors from around the world gathered to bid on some of the world’s most spectacular paintings. Dreams would be fulfilled that day. The auction began with a painting that was not on anyone’s museum list. It was the painting of the man’s son. The auctioneer asked for an opening bid, but the room was silent. “Who will open the bidding with $100”?
No one spoke. Finally someone said, “Who cares about that painting? It’s just a picture of his son. Let’s move on to the good stuff.”
The auctioneer responded, “No, we have to sell this one first. Now, who will take the son?” Finally, a neighbor of the old man offered $10. “That’s all I have. I knew the boy, so I’d like to have it.”
The auctioneer said, “Going once, going twice… gone.” The gavel fell.
Cheers filled the room and someone exclaimed, “Now we can bid on the real treasures!”
The auctioneer looked at the room filled with people and announced that the auction was over. Everyone was stunned. Someone spoke up and said, What do you mean, it’s over? We didn’t come here for a painting of someone’s son. There are millions of dollars of art here! What’s going on?”
The auctioneer replied, “It’s very simple. According to the will of the Father, whoever takes the son. . . gets it all.”
What a gift to know that we have it all! We take the Son.
Our heavenly Father, we thank you for sending your Son to make a way for us to come to you and to know you for the loving God you are. How grateful we are for your love and grace. Amen