The true spirit of Christmas

In the midst of the Advent Season I would like to share with you a true story that Dr. Roy Angel, who for many years was pastor of the Central Baptist Church in Miami, tells in his book, “Baskets of Silver.”

It is about a man whose brother, shortly before Christmas, gave him a big new car—a Packard. One afternoon he came out of his office to find a dirty little boy, a street urchin, walking around the car, touching and staring at it in admiration.

The little fellow looked up and asked what a car like that cost? The man replied that he didn’t know, because his brother had given it to him. “You mean your brother gave it to you, and it didn’t cost you nothing?” The man smiled, “Yes, my brother gave it to me and it didn’t cost me nothing.”

For a little while the boy appeared lost in thought. Finally he said, “I wish—” The man knew he was going to say he wished he had a brother who would give him a car. But he didn’t. He said, “Gosh, I wish I could be a brother like that!”

It reminds us that the true spirit of Christmas is giving. The Gospel of John sums up what Christmas is about in these words: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son...”

During these days of Advent, take these words of Harold Cornelius Sandall and ponder them well:

Love that is hoarded, molds at last

Until we know some day The only thing we ever have

Is what we give away.

And kindness that is never used

But hidden all alone Will slowly harden till it is

As hard as any stone.

It is the things we always hold

That we will lose some day;

The only things we ever keep

Are what we give away.

Rev. Nichols is Minister Emeritus of First Christian Church, Temple, where he served as senior minister for 23 years. He writes a column for several newspapers.

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2009-12-17 digital edition

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