Christmas Illustrations (1)

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It's Christmas, a time for sharing, of giving to those who do not have and helping those less fortunate and gifted than you are. It is in this spirit that I am providing 3 of my best Christmas illustrations. I've stolen them from others and, in return, I would love other bloggers to share their best illustrations. I think we should propose an amnesty for the Christmas period  where we can share each others material. Will someone (pull your finger out DeYoung), please give me some decent illustrations. This is my 11th Christmas and the well is running dry. If you wish to use these illustrations in sermons you can either cite my finding them or pay a hefty donation to the IPC Ealing Building Fund. Anyway, here goes.................
 
John Stott......
 
''I wanted to feel what it was like to be rejected by society. So I put on some very old clothes; I let my stubble grow for several days. We had identity cards in those days, so I put mine in my shoe, and then I started wandering about near the river and the Embankment where the tramps were. My first night was spent under the arches of Charing Cross Bridge, surrounded by tramps, men and women whose only covering, apart from their clothes, was newspapers. I didn't sleep very much. It was very hard on the pavement. The tramps were all coming and going. Some of them were drunk and made a lot of noise, and it was very cold; I don't remember what month it was, October or November, the beginning of winter. SO I was very thankful when the sun came up, and it was a lovely day. I remember I walked through the East End of London, and, because I'd had very little sleep, I lay down in the sunshine on a bomb site amongst the rose-bay willow herb, and fell asleep. However, before that, at dawn, when shops were beginning to open, I went to a number of ABC tea shops - I had deliberately not taken any money with me - where one of the employees would be cleaning the steps outside, I asked if they could give me a job, a cup of tea, or a breakfast, but none of them would. I began to feel very rejected.
That night I went to the Whitechapel Salvation Army doss house and queued up for a bed. I remember that the Salvation Army officer who was at the window where you booked in was rather brusque and impatient, not to me, but to somebody else. So, forgetting who I was meant to be, forgetting my role, I said to him 'As a Salvation Army officer, you ought to be trying to win that man for Christ - and not talking to him like that' and he looked at me very sharply, wondering who on earth this was; I think I tried to do it in a cockney accent! But anyway I got a bed; it was in a dormitory, with no cubicles and no privacy. It was a dreadful night: many men were coming in during the night drunk and shouting, and one or two of them were obviously mentally disturbed. So again, I got very little sleep and by the morning after this, I'd had enough. I really had begun to feel like an outsider, a castaway. So I then went to Toynbee Hall, and I dropped in there, I think, and asked for breakfast. The man who interviewed me was immediately suspicious - probably my accent wasn't good enough -  and I think he said something like 'the show's up, you'd better tell us who you are'. By then I was quite glad to do so. I didn't tell them I was a clergyman but got out my identity card and showed it to them. So they gave me breakfast, and I went back to 1 Queen Anne Street and found the Dukes. They had a strong social conscience and were very interested in my experiment, for what was only really forty eight hours''. - John Stott - The Making of a Leader - Timothy Dudley Smith, IVP, 1999, p238/239
 
The point - When I read that of John Stott I was hugely impressed. The great John Stott giving up his rights for 48 hours and becoming a homeless man, but the Son of God 'did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but made himself nothing'. He became a man not for 48 hours but he is still a man...... you can take it from here.
Posted December 18, 2013 @ 5:00 AM by Paul Levy
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