I heard this story the other day and I really like it, (I hope it is what actually happened!!), it goes like this:
In 1910, William Booth the founder of the Salvation Army, was coming towards the end of his earthly life. It was Christmas Eve, and it was to be Booths last.
General Booth was set to give an address at the opening of the Salvation Armies’ annual convention. As it turned out he was not well enough to do it in person, so a suggestion was made that he could write a message to be sent via telegram and that could be read out aloud to the people gathering at the convention.
The message was written by General Booth, and given to the moderator to stand and read to the thousands of expectant delegates. The telegram was opened, and inside was just one word, one message:
Signed General Booth.
Now I don’t know about you, but I think that is amazing. The Gospel message we have is made up of this incredible DNA, ‘others’. Jesus modeled this, taught this and lived it and then put the icing on the cake by instructing us to all go and do likewise.
‘Share the good news, tell the world about me’ says Jesus, because this is the way, this is it!
This Christmas we should take time to reflect on this, because it is a massive challenge. Refugees, the sick, the hungry, the tired, the outcast, the lonely, they are all there; many on our doorsteps and in our towns. Of course they have been there all year not just suddenly appeared at Christmas. But sometimes we need to stop, look around us and actually see others, and very often Christmas is one of the best times to remind us to do that.
Why? Because perhaps we remember Jesus more than ever at this time of year, the time when Gods plan which had been laid in the foundations of time was finally revealed to the world. A baby upon whose shoulders the salvation of all mankind would rest. Jesus accomplished the greatest work of all and set in motion the greatest command of all, ‘love one another’. Love one another.
‘Others’ was General Booths final message to the world, ‘others’.
Have a fantastic Christmas, see you in 2017!
Image Credit: Aaron Burden