As families get into the festive season St Botolph’s Church Parish Priest Reverend Alyson Buxton sends a Christmas message to the town...
Every Christmas I really want to see through the tinsel and the turkey and concentrate on the real reason for the season.
It reminds me of a story about a wealthy man who, with his devoted young son, shared a passion for art collecting. Over the years they bought hundreds of priceless treasures.; all of them hanging on the wall of their family estate.
War broke out, and the son left to serve his country. Sadly within a few short weeks his father received news that his son had died while rushing an injured soldier to the medic.
Distraught and lonely, the old man faced Christmas alone. On Christmas morning, there was a knock at the door and when the man opened it he was greeted by a soldier with a large package in his hand.
He was a friend of his son.
They began to talk and the soldier said to him “I’m an artist and I want to give you this.”
As the old man unwrapped the package, it revealed a portrait of the man’s son. Though the world would never consider it the work of a genius, the painting featured the young man’s face in striking detail.
Overcome with emotion, the man thanked the soldier, promising to hang the picture above the fireplace. The painting of his son soon became his most prized possession, far eclipsing any interest in the pieces for which museums around the world clamored.
The following year the man died and his estate and paintings were put up for auction.
Collectors form around the world gathered. The auction began with the painting of his son.
The room was silent. “Who will open the bidding” From the back of the room came, “Who cares about that painting? It’s just a picture of his son. Let’s forget it and go on to the good stuff.” More voices echoed in agreement. “No, we have to sell this one first,” replied the auctioneer.
Finally, a friend of the old man spoke. “Will you take ten pounds for the painting? That’s all I have. I knew the boy, so I’d like to have it.” The gavel fell. Cheers filled the room and someone exclaimed, “Now we can get on with it and we can bid on these treasures!” The auctioneer looked at the audience and announced the auction was over.
Stunned disbelief quieted the room. Someone spoke up and asked, “What do you mean it’s over? We didn’t come here for a picture of this man’s son. The auctioneer replied, “It’s very simple. According to the will of the father, whoever takes the son . . . gets it all!”
This Christmas time may the wonder of the Son fill our homes because when we ‘get’ the Son we truly have it all.
Blessings from me to you this Christmas time.