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Rays of Son, week of Dec. 11, 2016

A Pastor and His Wife Joyfully Celebrate Christmas

By Greg Miller © 2016

Pastor Paul was busy preparing his Christmas Day message.

“Lord,” he prayed, “Please help me to powerfully tell the story of Jesus’ birth.”

“I’ll anoint you with the power of the Holy Spirit,” the Lord replied.

Pastor Paul and his wife, Pamela, discussed exchanging gifts with each other. “What would you like for Christmas this year?” asked Pastor Paul.

“I would like to eat dinner on Christmas Eve at our favorite restaurant.”

“Then we have a date,” Pastor Paul beamed.

“What do you want for Christmas, Paul?”

“Nothing, honey. Jesus is the reason for the season. If I have Him, I have everything.”

After they finished eating their Christmas Eve dinner together, Pastor Paul handed an envelope to Pamela. The envelope contained a handwritten copy of Matthew chapter two, verses 1-11.

Here’s part of Matthew’s account: “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel.

Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.

When they had heard the king, they departed; and, lo, the star, which they saw in the east, went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was.  When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense, and myrrh.”

“The sermon will be short,” said Pastor Paul. “I’m just going to read the stories directly from Scripture with no added commentary. I figure since the Bible says it all, there’s no need for me to say anything else!”

To contact the writer of this column about speaking engagements, including Christian Comedy Fundraising Outreaches, Christian Creativity Seminars and/or puppet ministry, please email raysofson@gmail.com or ministry4jesus@yahoo.com.

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Rays of Son, week of Dec. 4, 2016

Fed Up with Santa, One Man

Creates Tuxedo Shepherd Character

 By Greg Miller © 2016

“Santa gets too much publicity,” Roy told Roberta, his wife. “I’m putting a stop to it.”

“I know you enjoy being controversial,” said Roberta. “But Santa is so famous. How do you plan to compete with him?”

“I’m going to put him in his place!” Roy promised. “I’m going to develop a seasonal character who is so charismatic that many people will simply forget about Santa!”

“How do you plan to accomplish that goal?” asked Roberta.

“Tuxedo Shepherd! I’m going to become Tuxedo Shepherd, a wealthy business man who is transformed into a Christmas super hero. Like Santa, Tuxedo Shepherd will circle the globe delivering Christmas gifts.”

Tuxedo Shepherd, Roy explained, would also make some special stops to read the Christmas story from Luke, chapter 2. Here’s part of the story … “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judæa, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:) to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. …”

Tuxedo Shepherd’s sleigh was powered solely by the driver’s thoughts. Two days before Christmas, Roy slept for 24 straight hours to prepare for the trip.

Tuxedo Shepherd was committed to sharing the news of Jesus’ birth. “That’s the primary purpose of the character,” said Roy.

Roy’s inaugural trip around the world was his only trip as Tuxedo Shepherd. “This trip is too tiring for one person,” Roy told Roberta. “I’m going to hire thousands of assistant Tuxedo Shepherds to deliver gifts in their neighborhoods and share the story of Jesus’ birth.”

The local newspaper had learned about Tuxedo Shepherd. A reporter asked Roy about the aspect of the character that differed the most from Santa’s. “Santa always goes down the chimney,” Roy smiled. “I don’t want to ruin a good tuxedo every year, so I just walk through the front door!”

To contact the writer of this column about speaking engagements, including Christian Comedy Fundraising Outreaches, Christian Creativity Seminars and/or puppet ministry, please email raysofson@gmail.com or ministry4jesus@yahoo.com.