Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
There is a fascinating Christmas story tucked away, hidden, in the most unlikely place: a book called The Great Controversy. A special angel was appointed to visit the earth to find who was prepared to welcome the long-awaited Messiah. He visits the palaces of kings; the offices of philosophers, teachers, rabbis, the synagogue elders, the leaders of the one true church on earth of that day with headquarters at Jerusalem; even the high priest's palace.
Will the angel find anyone whose humble, contrite heart is longing for the coming of the long-awaited world's Redeemer? If he finds such a person, he will give him the glad news that He is about to be born! But sadly, he finds no one, and is about to return to heaven with the shameful news when he spots a group of lowly shepherds camping in the fields. They love to think and talk about the prophecies. They are not discussing politics, buying presents for each other, worldly possessions, or pleasures; they express their longing for the coming of the world's Redeemer.
The angel cannot contain his exuberance! He tells them the glad news and directs them to "the wretched hovel prepared for cattle" in Bethlehem where they will find the One who "unto you is born this day ... a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11).
As that angel encircles the earth today, visiting the homes, schools, churches of the people who claim to be God's one true people, does he find anyone talking about the coming of the long-awaited "latter rain" of the Holy Spirit? Does anyone care that it has been delayed more than a century?
Does anyone wonder why? Does anyone long for its return? Or is there a secret fear that if and when the blessing comes, a lot of worldly "fun" will come to an end? Yes, it's true: the path to Bethlehem will lead on to a cross, which anyone who follows Jesus will also bear.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: December 14, 1998.
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