The land of Persia was once ruled by a wise and beloved Shah who cared greatly for his people and desired only what is best for them. One day he disguised himself as a poor man and went to visit the public baths. The water for the baths was heated by a furnace in the cellar, so the Shah made his way to that dark place to sit with the man who tended the fire. The two men shared the coarse food, and the Shah befriended him in his loneliness. Day after day the ruler went to visit the man. The worker became attached to this stranger because he “came where he was” (Luke 10:33). One day the Shah revealed his true identity, and he expected the man to ask for a gift. Instead, he looked long into his leader’s face and with love and wonder in his voice said, “You left your palace and your glory to sit with me in this dark place, to eat my coarse food, and to care about what happens to me. On others you may bestow rich gifts, but to me you have given yourself.”
As we think of what our Lord has done for us, we can echo that fire tender’s sentiments. Oh, what a step our Lord took – from heaven to earth, from the worship of angels to the mocking of cruel men, from glory to humiliation! To provide our salvation, Jesus came in human flesh, took upon Himself the form of a servant, and “became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:8). What a sacrifice – our great Creator become our Savior! Surely He deserves our heartfelt worship and humble adoration. – Paul R. Van Gorder
Down from His glory, ever-living story,
My God and Savior came, and Jesus was His name;
Born in a manger, to His own a stranger,
A man of sorrows, tears, and agony! – Booth-Clibborn
God’s highest Gift should awaken man’s deepest gratitude.
- December 25, 1984, Our Daily Bread