"Just because it's Christmas!"
(©2002 - By Bob Perks - http://www.IWishYouEnough.com)

12-21-2007 Church Within SOW Seeds Service - Story #472
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Sisters and Brothers, and welcome again to Church Within's Story of the Week ["SOW Seeds”].

This week's SOW Seeds Story, contributed by: Bob Perks

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Story of the Week
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"Just because it's Christmas!"
(©2002 - By Bob Perks - http://www.IWishYouEnough.com)

"You know, this is all wonderful...except for the fact it's so fake!" he said.

If anyone else had said that, I'd be upset. But sometimes you need to look no further than a man's past to understand his present.

One of my favorite quotes is by Thom Bishop, "If we want to see where we went wrong, we needn't look too far. For where we'll be and where we've been is always where we are. And everything that comes your way is something you once gave. Somebody feels the water every time you make a wave."

You might even see this man as a classic example of "Scrooge." But reality says he's just had a difficult life and because of that has chosen to reject anything good. Like a dog that has been beaten time and again, an outstretched hand can never offer a gentle touch.

He was reading the newspaper and came across another story about a local group helping the poor and lonely through the holiday.

"Why do you see this as fake? These people are offering their time and talent to help others," I said.

"They are doing it just because it's Christmas!" he shouted.

"What's wrong with that?"

"All the "do-gooders" come dancing out of their warm well-furnished houses once a year and put on the face that says, "Look at me! I'm feeding the poor!"

"Thank God for those people!"

"They are just doing it because it's Christmas!" he shouted again.

"What's your point?" I asked.

"Where are they all the rest of the year? For them Christmas brings out all these warm fuzzy memories and they feel the need to help others. But then the other 11 months of the year those same people they helped are still miserable and lost."

"So, if this is true, you are suggesting that if you can't do something all the time don't do it at all?"

He didn't say a word as he kept reading the story.

"You know there are some who feel the need to give something back for all they have in their lives. Christmas, reminds them of that."

"Well, that's my point. They are doing it because it's Christmas."

"No, my friend. They are doing it because "of" Christmas."

"What?"

"You, like so many others, have forgotten what Christmas is. It's not some big office party where everyone exchanges gifts. It is first and foremost a holy day for Christians. It is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. It is by His example, by His teachings these people are giving of themselves. It is the fundamental framework of every faith to help one another. Your bitterness toward them, your rejection of their acts of compassion is rooted in your lack of faith. I ask you, my friend, what do you do to help your fellow man?"

He folded his paper, stood up and said, "Have a good day, sir."

Wondering if I could have said more, been a little more understanding, or perhaps if I just avoided the conversation completely, I watched him as he headed for the mall exit. Arriving at the door, he stopped suddenly, looked back at where we were seated and turned around.

I pretended not to be looking his way.

I worried that he would return, perhaps to argue his point, maybe even causing a scene in the food court.

But then he walked a few steps to his right, reached into his pocket and pulled a few dollars from his wallet. There he stood in front of one of the Salvation Army's famous red collection kettles. He folded the bills and placed them in the kettle.

Was it something I said? Or just because it's Christmas?

No, I believe, he did it because "of" Christmas.

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The Prayer
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Dear God,        
        Thank you for the Gift of Love!

You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Eternal Love to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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