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Summary: The first in a series of Advent sermons. The hope we find in Christ

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Years ago, there was a very wealthy man

• Who, along with his devoted son, shared a passion for art collecting.

• Together they traveled around the world, adding only the finest art treasures to their collection.

• Priceless works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Monet and many others adorned the walls of the family estate.

• The widowed father looked on with satisfaction as his only child became an experienced art collector.

• But the day came when war engulfed the nation, and the young man left to serve his country.

• After only a few short weeks, his father received a telegram that his beloved son had been killed while carrying a fellow soldier to a medic.

• On Christmas morning, a knock came at the door of the old man’s home, and as He opened the door, He was greeted by a soldier with a large package in his hand.

• He introduced himself to the man by saying, “I was a friend of your son. I was the one He was rescuing when He died.

• May I come in for a few moments? I have something to show you.”

• The soldier said “I’m an artist, and I want to give this to you.”

• As the old man unwrapped the package, the paper gave way to reveal a portrait of his son.

• Though the art critics would never consider the work a piece of genius,

• The painting did feature the young man’s face in striking detail,

• and seemed to capture his personality.

• The following spring, the old man became ill and passed away.

• The art world was filled with anticipation!

• Because according to the man’s will, all of the art works were to be auctioned.

• The day soon arrived, and art collectors from around the world gathered to bid on some of the world’s most spectacular paintings.

• The auction began with a painting that was not on any museum’s list.

• It was the painting of the man’s son.

• The auctioneer asked for an opening bid. The room was silent. “Who will open the bidding with $100?” He asked. Minutes passed with not a sound from those who came to buy.

• From the back of the room someone called out, “Who cares about that painting? It’s just a picture of his son. Let’s forget it and get to the important paintings.”

• Other voices echoed in agreement.

But the auctioneer replied, “No, we have to sell this one first.

• Now, who will take the son?”

• Finally, a friend of the old man spoke. “I knew the boy, so I’d like to have it.

• I’ll bid the $100.”

• The Auctioneer said “I have a bid for $100,”

• “Will anyone go any higher?”

• After a long silence, the auctioneer said, “Going once. Going twice. Gone.”

And The gavel fell.

• Cheers filled the room and someone said, “Now we can get on with it!”

• But the auctioneer looked at the audience and announced the auction was over.

• Stunned disbelief quieted the room.

• After a few moments Someone spoke up and asked,

• “What do you mean it’s over?

• We didn’t come Here for a picture of some old guy’s son.

• What about all the paintings?

• There’s millions of dollars worth of art Here!

• We demand that you explain what’s going on!”

• The auctioneer replied, “It’s very simple.

• According to the will of the father, whoever takes the son... gets it all.”

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