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Text Illustrations
ILL: FINALLY CHRISTMAS

Senator John McCain of Arizona was a prisoner of war during the Vietnam conflict. He was shot down and held as a prisoner of war in Hanoi for 5 ½ years, 1967-1973, spending much of it in solitary confinement.

John McCain said this, “When I was being mistreated by the North Vietnamese, many times I found myself asking to live just one more minute rather than one more hour or one more day. And I know I was able to hang on longer as a prisoner of war because of the spiritual help that I received through prayer.”

“At Christmas, I was the room chaplain, not because of my excessive virtue, but because I knew all the prayers that went with a church service, since I had been in a boarding school and was an Episcopalian. We asked for a Bible, and the Vietnamese said they didn’t have any. Later we learned that thousands of Bibles had been sent to us.”

“Four days before Christmas, I was told that I could copy prayers and stories from the only Bible the Vietnamese had available…Our service consisted of a biblical passage read by me, followed by an appropriate song by the choir. I talked about the birth of Christ and the choir sang, ‘Silent Night.’”

“I looked around the room and there were tears in those men’s eyes. They weren’t tears of anger or fright or sorrow or bitterness or even longing for home. They were tears of joy that, for the first time in seven years for some of them there was a celebration of Christmas together shown by their love for each other”.

Now That’s Real Christmas!

Let your Christmas be about Love, Joy, Peace, Gentleness – the gifts that prepare you for the King!