I recently received an e-mail from one of my cousins that told a story to which I have given a lot of thought. It tells of a man who stopped going to church, so the pastor decided to pay a visit. He found the man sitting in front of a roaring fire. Taking a seat beside him, not a word was exchanged. Finally the pastor picked up the tongs and selected a single burning coal and placed it on the other side of the hearth. Before long, the ember cooled and died. The pastor then got up and again, picking up the tongs, put the dead ember back in with the hot coals, where shortly, it again burst into flame.
The message was not lost on the man and as the pastor started to leave, the man said “I’ll see you in church next Sunday”. I guess it can be said that sometimes the sermons that have the most impact are those that are seen instead of spoken.
So here we are, preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ, each in our own way. But, I would guess, surrounded by those that mean the most to us. And therein lies the key. We can spend our years gathering material things, but when it comes to what’s important, we turn to the support and love of others. Inherently, we know that our strength is not internal, but instead is manifested through the fellowship of man.
What is most valuable is not what we have in our lives, but who we have in our lives. None of us walks alone. Thank you for your gift of friendship.