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Friday, January 24, 2020

The Greatest Gift

By David Bragg

    Martin of Tours, one of the Patron Saints recognized and venerated by Roman Catholic and Orthodox Churches (among others), lived in the fourth Christian century in what is modern day France. Martin was not only a Roman soldier but, also a Christian. The legend for which he would become famous relates to an act of compassion resulting in a most unusual gift. According to this legend Martin found himself on duty in Gaul one cold, blustery day when his path happened to cross a scantily clad beggar asking for alms. With no money on his person, Martin removed his worn, threadbare military cloak, cut in in half and shared it with the needy man.
    Later that night Martin had a dream in which he saw Jesus in heaven wearing what looked like a cut or torn Roman cloak. As he marveled at the scene before him, Martin overheard an angel ask Jesus why He was wearing the tattered old cloak. "Where did you get it?" the angel asked, to which Christ was heard to reply, "My servant Martin gave it to Me."
    In this season of the year as much of the world pauses, if but for a moment, to reflect upon Jesus, it is good to think of and appreciate just how great of a gift God has given to us by sending His only begotten Son. Although no one knows the day of Jesus’ birth, THAT He was born is an undeniable fact. This being the case, we owe it to ourselves to ask two important questions.

•    Why would God make such a sacrifice? The inspired answer is, because of His love (John 3:16).
•    How can I live my life as if Jesus never came? Hopefully our answer is, we can’t, because of our love!
- David Bragg serves as one of the ministers at the Northwest Church of Christ in Greensboro, NC and is co-editor of BulletinGold. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.nwchurchofchrist.com/ or his blog: http://davidbragg.blogspot.com/


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