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My Two Cents

by Rev Chuck Behrens


December, 2014

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I just can't get enough. I am an affirmed 100% CHRISTMAS-HOLIC.  I make no apologies or excuses for this...I, in fact, pride myself on it.  I practice Christmas 12 times a year every 25th of every month.


So I absolutely loved the feel-good story out of New York City that went viral across Facebook last Christmas. It was about the friendly policeman and the freezing homeless man. And it had "Christmas Story" written all over it.

In case you missed it, a young police officer, on patrol in Times Square, came upon a homeless man, sitting barefoot on the sidewalk. It was a "two pair of socks" night for the officer and even then his feet were freezing. He couldn't imagine a man sitting there barefoot all night. So the man in blue went inside a nearby store and bought the homeless man a $100 pair of boots with his own money. When he gave those boots to that barefoot man, well, you can imagine the joy.

It would have been one of life's invisible acts of kindness except for a tourist with a cell phone camera. She was so moved with what she was watching; she snapped a picture, which has now been seen by millions of people. Maybe because it was the Christmas season, that poignant scene triggered a flashback to something my personal Hero did over and over again. It's one of the many things that make me love Him. That would be Jesus.

The incident I remember took place when Jesus was entering a town, surrounded by crowds anxious to see Him. The Bible says there was a blind beggar who had heard that "Jesus of Nazareth is passing by." Much to the aggravation of the people around Jesus, he started shouting loudly, "Jesus, have mercy on me!"

A lot of annoyed people there told him in no uncertain terms to shut up. Or "shutteth up" (sounds more Biblical). So he just shouted louder. The blind man was a nuisance. He was an embarrassment; they had a "celebrity" in town. Then two little words that tell me so much about Jesus, and they're our word for today from the Word of God. Two words: Luke 18:40; "Jesus stopped". Nobody else stopped, but Jesus did. Not for the mayor. Not for the millionaires. Not for the ministers, but for the miserable. The guy everyone else walked by or walked over. That's who Jesus stops everything for. And the first thing that blind man ever saw was the face of Jesus. Because Jesus did what only He could do; He gave that man his sight.

The Bible's filled with stories of people nobody would stop for except Jesus. Marginalized people like blind Bartimaeus. Obnoxious people like Zacchaeus. Condemned people like the woman caught in the very act of adultery. Even the hardened criminal on the cross next to His, in His agony Jesus answered the thief's cry for mercy and guaranteed him heaven.

For 2,000 years, Jesus has been stopping for the lonely, the losers, and the lost. And letting them know that someone knows their name. Someone hears their cry. Someone really loves them. And it's God's one and only Son. He sees me; He sees a world lost in sin, away from God, headed for an awful eternity. And He does what no one else could do. What no religion could ever do. He pays for my sins with His blood. In the words of the Bible, "He was wounded and bruised for our sins. He was beaten so that we might have peace; He was lashed and we were healed!" (Isaiah 53:5).

You know, Jesus stopped for me when my soul was destitute, when my soul was doomed. Like the hymn says, "Once I was lost, but now I am found. I was blind, but now I see." Look, He might be passing your way today. He knows your name. He knows your scars. He knows your sin, and He died for it. He's reaching your direction.  It's why he came into the world some 2000 years ago and it's exactly why we continue to celebrate him some 2000 years later.  May this be the Christmas season you can't begin to imagine so that you may be that very season for another who can't begin to envision the Jesus allowed born in them with your kindness.

See you in Church,

Rev. Chuck