Our world places little value on children, but Jesus says they are the most important people of all.
Why? Because to be little is to be great in God’s eyes, and to receive a child is like receiving Christ. It’s a lesson Jesus wanted His disciples to learn, and it’s a lesson He wants us to learn, as well.
When pastor and author, Clark Cothern, was five years old, he thought college presidents were powerful, frightening beings. His mother was Dean of Women at Grand Canyon College (now a university) in Phoenix, Arizona, at the time, and he remembers playing behind her desk in the administration building.
From there, he watched as students walked slowly down the hall toward the president’s office and stop. They would rub their sweaty palms on their pants or skirts, take a deep breath, straighten their shoulders, and knock. The door would creak open, and that’s when he would catch a glimpse of the president’s shiny, black wingtip shoes. A steady, strong hand would reach through and shake the trembling hand of the student. The student would then disappear inside the mysterious chamber known as “The President’s Office.”
Cothern figured that walking into that room must be pretty much like going before the throne of judgment. It was a terrifying thought, that is, until the day the president stooped into his world.
He says, “I was playing with my toy car in the hall outside his office when the door opened. There they were those shiny, black wingtip shoes. The next thing I knew, President Robert Sutherland, the biggest man on campus, dressed in his pinstriped, three-piece suit, knelt down. He placed the knee of his crisply creased trousers on the hallway floor. ‘May I have a turn?’ he asked.”
After they played cars together, President Sutherland asked little Clark if he would do him the favor of calling him “Dr. Bob.” Clark Cothern says, “That’s the day my opinion about college presidents changed.”
Then he says, “I can see how some people might think God is a powerful, frightening being. Yet after I met him, my opinion about him changed, too. John 1:14 says, ‘The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.’” (Clark Cothern, in his sermon, When God Stooped, www.PreachingToday.com)
Jesus stooped low into our world. The greatest became the least and served the least among us, and that’s what He wants us to do as well.
From a sermon by C. Philip Green, The Way to Greatness, 12/31/2009
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Frank Gallagher on Nov 26, 2000
We’ve all read and heard these Bible verses about the shepherds before, taught by pastors and Sunday School teachers at Christmas time. We can even hear these verses on TV each year if we watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Charlie Brown spends the show as so many people do today, looking in all ...read more
Contributed by Mark Haines on Dec 8, 2000
In 1864, one of America’s great poets, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, wrote the poem which became the well-known carol, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. When I first heard this song, I wondered, “Why does he suddenly shift from joy at hearing the Christmas bells into such deep ...read more
Contributed by Owen Bourgaize on Dec 6, 2000
In a business magazine I read, there was an article about a company, imaginary I hope, that was planning its Christmas sales campaign. The board of directors was puzzled how they could beat their competitors, then suddenly the chairman had an idea. "We’ll have a crib," he said, getting very ...read more
Contributed by James Wilson on Dec 11, 2000
Christmas shopping, though fun, can be difficult. Did you hear about the guy that bought his wife a beautiful diamond ring for Christmas? A friend of his said, "I thought she wanted one of those sporty 4-Wheel drive ...read more