Why Christmas is Important

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There was once a man who didn’t believe in God and he didn’t hesitate to let others know that he felt religion and religious holidays, like Christmas, were a lot of childish fairy tales. He said that religion was a crutch for people who were too stupid to figure things out for themselves or too fearful to live by their own strength. If God were real He sure wouldn’t do some of the dumb things people said He did.

His wife, however, did believe in God and was always quick to say that she was born again. She raised their children to also have faith in God despite his disparaging comments.

One snowy Christmas Eve, his wife was taking their children to a Christmas Eve service in the farm community in which they lived. She asked him, as always to come, but he refused. “What a lot of nonsense!” he said. “Why would God lower Himself to come to Earth as a man? That’s ridiculous!” So she and the children left, and he stayed home.

While they were gone, the wind and snow grew stronger until it was a blizzard. As the man looked out the window, all he saw was a blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before the fire. He knew his wife would not venture back on the road till the storm abated and he knew there were good snow tires on their SUV. So, nothing to do except enjoy the peaceful evening.

Then he heard a loud thump. Something had hit the window. Then another thump. He looked out, but couldn’t see more than a few feet. When the snow let up a little, he ventured outside to see what could have been beating on his window.

In the field near his house he saw a flock of wild geese. Apparently they had been flying south for the winter when they got caught in the snowstorm and couldn’t go on. They were lost and stranded by this storm. They just flapped their wings and flew around the field in low circles, blindly and aimlessly. A couple of them had flown into his window, it seemed. The man felt sorry for the geese and wanted to help them. The barn would be a great place for them to stay, he thought. It’s warm and safe; surely they could spend the night and wait out the storm.

So he walked over to the barn and opened the doors wide, then watched and waited, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside. But the geese just fluttered around aimlessly and didn’t seem to notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. The man tried to get their attention, but that just seemed to scare them and they moved further away.

He went into the house and came with some bread, broke it up, and made a bread crumb trail leading to the barn. They still didn’t catch on. Now he was getting frustrated. He got behind them and tried to shoo them toward the barn, but they only got more scared and scattered in every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where they would be warm and safe.

“Why don’t they follow me?!” he exclaimed. “Can’t they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm?” He thought for a moment and realized that they just wouldn’t follow a human. “If only I were a goose, then I could lead them,” he said out loud. Then he had an idea.

He went into barn, got one of his own geese, and carried it in his arms as he circled around behind the flock of wild geese. He then released it.

His goose flew through the flock and straight into the barn–and one by one the other geese followed it to safety. He stood silently for a moment as the words he had spoken a few minutes earlier replayed in his mind: “If only I were a goose, then I could save them!”

Then he thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. “Why would God want to be like us? That’s ridiculous!” Suddenly it all made sense. That is what God had done. We were like the geese, blind, lost, perishing. God had His Son become like us so He could show us the way and save us. That was the meaning of Christmas, he realized.

As the winds and blinding snow died down, his soul became quiet and pondered this wonderful thought. Suddenly he understood what Christmas was all about, why Christ had come. Years of doubt and disbelief vanished like the passing storm. He fell to his knees in the snow, and prayed his first prayer: “Thank You, God, for coming in human form to get me out of the storm!”

 

John 3:16

One cold, dark night, a blizzard was setting in. A little boy was selling newspapers on the corner, while other people were in and out of the cold. The little boy was so cold that he wasn’t trying to sell many papers. He walked up to a policeman and said, “Mister, you wouldn’t happen to know where a poor boy could find a warm place to sleep tonight would you? You see, I sleep in a box up around the corner there and down the alley, and it’s awful cold in there at night. It sure would be nice to have a warm place to stay.”

The policeman looked down at the little boy and said, “You go down the street to that big white house and you knock on the door. When they open the door you just say ‘John 3:16’ and they will let you in.”

So the boy walked up the steps to the door, and knocked on the door and a lady answered. The little boy looked up and said, “John 3:16.”

The lady said “Come on in, Son.” She took him in and she sat him down in a split bottom rocker in front of a great big old fireplace and she went off. He sat there for a while, and thought to himself “John 3:16… I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a cold boy feel warm.”

Later she came back and asked him “Are you hungry?”

He said, “Well, just a little. I haven’t eaten in a couple of days and guess I could stand a little bit of food.”

The lady took him in the kitchen and sat him down to a table full of wonderful food. He ate and ate until he couldn’t eat any more. Then he thought to himself “John 3:16… Boy, I sure I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a hungry boy feel full.”

She took him upstairs to a bathroom to a huge bathtub filled with warm water and he sat there and soaked for a while. As he soaked, he thought to himself, “John 3:16… I sure don’t understand it, but it sure makes a dirty boy feel clean. You know, I’ve not had a bath, a real bath, in my whole life. The only bath I ever had was when I stood in front of that big old fire hydrant as they flushed it out.”

The lady came in and got him, and took him to a room and tucked him into a big old feather bed and pulled the covers up around his neck and kissed him goodnight and turned out the lights. As he laid in the darkness and looked out the window at the snow coming down on that cold night he thought to himself, “John 3:16… I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a tired boy feel rested.”

The next morning she came back up and took him down again to that same big table full of food. After he ate she took him back to that same big old split bottom rocker in front of the fireplace and she got a big old Bible and sat down in front of him and she looked up as she asked, “Do you understand John 3:16?”

He said, “No, Ma’am, I don’t. The first time I ever heard it was last night when the policeman told me to say John 3:16.”

She opened the Bible to John 3:16 , and she began to explain to him about Jesus. Right there in front of that big old fireplace he gave his heart and life to Jesus. He sat there and thought, “John 3:16, I don’t understand it, but it sure makes a lost boy feel safe.”

The lady then said: “You know, I have to confess I don’t I understand it either; how God would be willing to send His own Son to die for you and me, and how Jesus would agree to do such a thing. I don’t understand it either, but it sure does make life worth living.”

John 3:16:For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.(NIV)