SermonIndex Audio Sermons
Image Map
Discussion Forum : Devotional Thoughts : The Christmas Visitor story

Print Thread (PDF)

PosterThread
HIServant
Member



Joined: 2007/10/30
Posts: 172


 The Christmas Visitor story


The Christmas Visitor


In the southern part of England in the 19th century, a seasoned pastor had been called upon to move to a small town and revive the church. It was winter and the task seemed daunting for several reasons. First, with the difficulties of the weather...attendance would be down. Second, it was a small community and the likelihood that increased numbers would show up any time soon...was low.

So the mature teacher of the Word set out on this mission. Upon arriving, his concerns were soon proven out. The congregation was aging. The youth seemed set on anything but attending the small cottage chapel…regardless the weather or time of year. To top it off, there was a prominent man who was a farmer…that most looked up to. The challenge was that the farmer felt church began AND stayed…at home. He had long convinced many to stay in as often as possible. If he felt people were frequenting the church too much, he would speak about them behind their back until the individuals felt shamed into worshipping at home.

The first month of services were nothing less than abysmal. A half dozen showed up the first day he preached and half of them sat all the way at the back…uninvolved. Yet he preached onward trusting in his experience that they’d soon come as they had in the other churches he had shepherded. But when the Christmas service was just around the corner and still he had a meager following…he decided that the time had come. Bending low to the warped wooden floor beneath him, he prayed that the LORD would send him a sign of encouragement to continue. In that instant, the pair of oil lamps by the door slowly extinguished themselves…being empty. As the pastor’s eyes slowly adjusted to the darkness…the only light seen was through the side window which overlooked that farmer’s field. There, the torches which had been lit for the house and the stable…were shining like beacons. Gathering his cloak and scarf, so he headed towards the house…with the LORD’s directions.

Shortly he arrived at the cobblestone homestead and boldly addressed the thick wood door in front him. There weren’t any sounds at first but soon came the evidence of life as a kettle, apparently bumped out of the way, scurried away in distinctly audible circles on the ground. Drawing back a step, the pastor awaited the inevitable. Either way, something would change this evening!
With an abrupt pull, the farmer cast aside the door…allowing the firelight to grace the face of his visitor. “May I come in?” was the natural inquiry which was followed by gruff yet unintelligible approval. So the man of GOD, after a few seconds hesitation…crossed over the threshold and closed the door behind him.

The farmer stood near the fireplace with his back towards the door…in silence. Taking this cue, the pastor slowly strode over beside him…also without speaking. As Job’s friends who paused for days without first speaking to Job, so the stillness and quiet were paired for what seemed like an eternity. Then moving towards the fire, the preacher took the nearby iron rod for stoking and pushed it into the glowing coals. The farmer was looking down by this time yet remained statuesque and solemn.

He moved the coals around for a little while and then with a sideways glance into the face of his skeptic, he withdrew the brightest ember by far…out onto the floor by itself. Again…the surrounding hush was extended and both stared at the slowly, ever so gradually, dying glow. No other movement nor sound was heard save the crackling blaze of conjoined coals and flames in front of them. Eyes cast their glance both to and from the fireplace and then back to the now lightless lump of coal. When it seemed that naught had been accomplished and words would need to be employed…the old farmer turned with these words. “Aye, Ah’ll be seein’ you at church on the morrow.”

By Whitney V.W. Jasnoch (11/30/07)


Devotional: Community is a necessary requirement for the Body. We can have times of “Church at home” but ultimately we are told to not forsake the assembling or gathering of ourselves together. “Why? How does that relate to me?” Let’s look at each of the three points of growth in the life of a Christian.

Spark: This is where one has just accepted CHRIST as their Saviour and they want to be fed. Truly being given the milk of the Word, (as newborn babes in CHRIST) one goes to those which the compassionate ability to pour out the WORD in the form which the new believer can digest and begin to grow with. Consider that no baby gets milk out of the refrigerator on its’ own or even knows WHAT it should be eating and drinking. Again, the Body has been formed by CHRIST to serve in this role.

Flame: This is where one wants to know more about CHRIST. They are believers and now have burning questions about their faith. “What do I believe specifically? What is Baptism? Speaking in Tongues? Healing?” Here again, one needs the interaction with the saints to get answers. The Internet and the TV, along with various songs which are sung and written by wonderful artists…still cannot guide and nurture a soul such as human involvement and discussion can.

Beacon: This is the level of maturity where one is ready to share their faith in CHRIST…with others. In order to do that, one cannot stay at home. We are instructed to be ready in and out of season to share our faith with others. We are to go and preach the Gospel unto all nations. We are to bear one another’s burdens, stand in the gap for those who cannot stand, and so forth.

It is clear that to be a Christian, involvement is not an option nor something to be debated as though extraneous. Rather, my friends, we must interact with the Body of CHRIST both frequently and compassionately…for this is the will of Almighty GOD! Amen and amen.


_________________
Whitney

 2007/11/30 22:04Profile
ginnyrose
Member



Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7488
Mississippi

 Re: The Christmas Visitor story

Good story. Loved it.

ginnyrose


_________________
Sandra Miller

 2007/11/30 22:33Profile
donnaemmons9
Member



Joined: 2007/10/27
Posts: 102


 Re: The Christmas Visitor story

I like this word. Blessings, Donna

 2007/11/30 22:39Profile
HIServant
Member



Joined: 2007/10/30
Posts: 172


 Re:

This is one reason I like SermonIndex so much but how it still cannot take the place of face to face fellowship! The nuances of response, body language and more all add into the empathetic response our souls crave. Thank you again for your words!


_________________
Whitney

 2007/11/30 23:19Profile
HIServant
Member



Joined: 2007/10/30
Posts: 172


 Credit where credit is due...

Years ago I had been told this as a very short analogy/story. Without specifics other than the coal being drug away from the rest of the fire and the other person saying they'd come to church...GOD gave me the supporting story line. If there is a copy of this written somewhere else, I would like to have it. My imagination drew the rest and seeing how it is such a pointed message, I would like to give credit where credit is due. Thanks for your help!


_________________
Whitney

 2007/12/2 22:46Profile
HIServant
Member



Joined: 2007/10/30
Posts: 172


 An additional note....

I was blessed to share this story with a overall message of Christmas yesterday with a group from our church. As I read it alound, I was reminded of those times that I am the farmer one minute and the paster the next minute. Then another few "minutes" pass and I'm acting like the farmer again. I speak only for myself but my encouragement to you this wondrous season is one of consistent behaviour. Dissuade NO one from approaching, worshipping and serving CHRIST...regardless if your belief is contrary to theirs. Woe to us if we are found to be hindering the Gospel and purpose of CHRIST! Rejoice that HE accepts us as worthy...for HE made us worthy through Calvary! Amen and amen!


_________________
Whitney

 2007/12/12 8:09Profile





©2002-2020 SermonIndex.net
Promoting Genuine Biblical Revival.
Affiliate Disclosure | Privacy Policy