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Monday, December 22, 2008

A Christmas Legend

In Medieval times there was a charming legend that on Christmas the Christ Child wandered throughout the world looking for places where He would be welcomed. Those who loved Him, those who hoped He would visit their home, placed lighted candles in their windows to invite Him in.

No one knew what He would look like when He came. He might be a beggar. He might be someone who was lost. He might be a poor and lonely child. He might be family or friend. So the devout welcomed into their homes everyone who knocked. To turn anyone away might have meant rejecting the Christ Child.

I once attended a 2-day seminar at a Catholic abbey in Nebraska. The Brothers who welcomed us lived by that medieval legend. It was their goal to treat every guest as if he or she were King Jesus arriving in humble disguise. I have never been welcomed more graciously nor treated more royally. Would that everyone could experience such honor.

At the Sojourners Neighborhood Center in Washington D.C. 60-year old Mary Glover distributes bags of groceries to more than 300 needy families just a mile and a half from the White House. She begins each day with a simple prayer. Joining hands with the other workers just before they open the doors, Mary prays. “Another day to serve you, Lord. We know that you’ll be coming through the line today so, Lord, help us treat you well.”

Can you imagine the Christ Child wandering our streets and highways and country roads today, looking for homes where He will be given warmth and shelter? Pray that our Savior might find a place in your home. Light a candle in your window, and in the window of your heart, offering Him, and all who knock, a worthy Christmas welcome.

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