A young couple moved into a new neighbourhood. The next morning while they were eating breakfast, the young woman saw her neighbour hanging the wash outside. "That laundry is not very clean," she said. "She doesn't know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap."
Her husband looked on, but remained silent. Every time her neighbour would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same comments.
About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband: "Look, she has learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this."
The husband said, "I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows."
And so it is with life. What we see when watching others depends on the window through which we look. (Internet source)
One of the tasks of Advent is to prepare our hearts for Christmas and its deep spiritual gifts. Clearing away the debris of sin and short vision, as illustrated in the above story, is an important aspect of that preparation. Like Lent, this time of Advent is a time to repent, introspect and prepare our hearts for love of others.
There is an ancient story of a Persian king that perhaps best illustrates the unspeakable gift that we receive at Christmas. Sometimes the story speaks more eloquently than the best preachments, which I try to avoid in most articles.
Story of the Persian King - Author Unknown
Long ago, there ruled in Persia a wise and good king. He loved his people. He wanted to know how they lived. He wanted to know about their hardships. Often he dressed in the clothes of a working man or a beggar, and went to the homes of the poor. No one whom he visited thought that he was their ruler.
One time he visited a very poor man who lived in a cellar. He ate the coarse food the poor man ate. He spoke cheerful, kind words to him. Then he left.
Later he visited the poor man again and disclosed his identity by saying, "I am your king!" The king thought the man would surely ask for some gift or favour, but he didn't. Instead he said, "You left your palace and your glory to visit me in this dark, dreary place. You ate the coarse food I ate. You brought gladness to my heart! To others you have given your rich gifts. To me you have given yourself!"
The King of glory, the Lord Jesus Christ, gave himself to you and me. The Bible calls Him, "the unspeakable gift!"