Sunday Toolkit: To Illustrate

Leaving Jesus Out of Christmas


It was nearing Christmas, and I received a phone call from a man who needed to talk to a counselor. I met him at my church office, where he told me his tale of woe.

A decade earlier, he killed his wife in a fit of anger, and spent several years in prison for manslaughter. He and his wife had a daughter who was in the custody of his in-laws. He had not seen her since, and now, as Christmas neared, his heart ached. With tears streaming, he lamented, "I could pass her on the street and not even know who she was."

What I remember most about our counseling session, however, was what he said when he first walked into my office. Dramatically raising his arms, he said, "Now, preacher, let's just leave Jesus out of this, okay?"

As he sadly went his way that day, I thought to myself, That's the whole problem. You've left Jesus out.


Jeremiah 17:5-8; Matthew 11:28-30; Hebrews 4:15-16;
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