The young pastor was pacing. He was totally perplexed. Here it was Christmas Eve and he had no sermon for the midnight service. People would come to the church full of Christmas cheer. They would expect to be inspired and he lacked inspiration. He was so tired of the commercial aspects of Christmas that he feared the real meaning of the season was being lost forever.
He wandered by the life-size nativity scene outside the church and noticed a brightly wrapped gift package by the manger. Curious, he reached out and opened it. Inside he found a pair of tiny baby booties and a card. It read, “This is a birthday present to keep your baby feet warm. Happy Birthday, Jesus.” It was signed, Cheryl, age 4.
The pastor smiled. He could envision young parents teaching their child the true meaning of Christmas in a way that she could understand.
That night, he read the card and based his sermon on it. The card became the core of his sermon every Christmas Eve.
Fifty years later, two elderly parishioners smiled at each other as they listened to the story yet again. Cheryl’s parents had heard it every year. They both agreed that to have inspired this Christmas message over all of these years was the best Christmas gift they ever had.