The Lord just orchertrated something neat, and I'd like to share it...
A few years ago, I had come across the story of the candy cane.. which is rich in Christian symbolism. One year I photocopied it and attached it to candy canes with red ribbon and handed them out to my friends at church as token christmas presents. This year God reminded me of that and told me to rework the writeup a bit so it was more suitable for outreach ... then to give them out at work.
So I rewrote the "History Of the Candy Cane" to be more easily understood by the "unchurched", printed it out, reduced it down to little cards and hand drew a pretty red and white candy cane on the front. I purchased four dozen candy canes and attached them to the cards via red curlique ribbon.
I had planned to pass them out to everyone at work yesterday, but I sort of chickened out... after all, the cards are evangelical and promoting one's religious beliefs at the work place is very frowned upon. I really wanted to give these nice little hand made presents to my co-workers.. but I did not want to offend anyone. I prayed about it last night and felt that the Lord wanted me to go ahead and give out these little presents.
So today I did it!! I passed them out early this morning. Many people where not in yet, so I left them on people's desks. Some were in and I got to hand them directly to the person with a big smile and a "Merry Christmas" on my lips. To my surprise, some people wanted to talk about the card.. a few asked if this was a true story. I got three rather neat opportunities to share Christ (no conversions yet) but they were very upbeat and very positive conversations and I believe very God ordained. A few people sent me emails to thank me for the candy cane and the "lovely note." A few stopped by my desk to thank me... it seems to have been very well received and a very positive experience.. and the true story of Christmas went forth. A few of my co-workers had never heard the true story behind Christmas before, and they thought it was "very interesting". One co-worker has a chronicly sick child and I got to share some stories of how God has healed people when I prayed for them.. because He is a loving God who desires for us to be well and healthy. It looks like I might get to go to this co-worker's house to pray for his little boy sometime in early January... and if God words it out for me to go and pray, then I expect that He will also come and heal the little boy!
God managed to find a way to bring His glory into this situation, to allow the gospel to go forth as truely good news and to bless everyone at the same time! Wow, we serve such a neat God!!
Here is the version of the "History Of Candy Canes" I passed out at work:
There was a candy maker who wanted to bring his God into his profession. He wanted his work to reflect his religious beliefs. Since he made candy for a living, he decided to make a candy that would tell the story of his beliefs.
He believed in a loving God, who was the rock of his salvation, so he made the candy as hard as a rock. He believed that his God was holy, so he chose white as one of the colors. He believed his God was loving and his God wanted a way for people to be in close and intimate relationship with Himself; so he chose the color red to symbolize the blood of Jesus, shed for man's sins on Calvary. He believed his God rose from the dead, forever conquering sin and death, so he chose a sweet but powerful and cleansing fragrance ... peppermint. He choose the pattern of stripes (red over white) because of the verse that says "we are healed by His stripes.." indicating that God wants people to be well and happy. He gave the candy a white core because he believed that through the the sacrifice of Jesus, people's sins are forgiven and they are made pure and holy in God's eyes, no longer separated from God. He shaped the candy as the letter J, the first letter of Jesus' name. He introduced the candy at Christmas, when the whole world celebrates the birth of Christ, to remind people of the reason that the Christ child came -- to die for man's sins (and to raise again from the dead) so that, through Him, all can live and can enter into a personal and intimate relationship with God.
This humble candy maker had no idea that his work would become a major tradition used in celebrating Christmas all over the world. Over time the meaning of Christmas has been obscured until few associate it with the birth of Christ, God's greatest gift to mankind... Yet, over all these years, the candy cane has remained a part of the Christmas celebration... a silent reminder of the reason behind the season.
Merry Christmas and God bless you richly in the coming year!
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