What happens when a man bows before a Manger and kneels before a Cross

Found in a 1955 edition of Best Sermons (a once annual book series), Michael Duduit came across this story which concluded the sermon “Manger and Mankind” by Methodist Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam:

 “Yesterday a beautiful poinsettia plant was delivered to our home. No gift could be more meaningful to a Californian. It was sent by a young and highly gifted Methodist preacher. Three years ago, I had appointed him to a splendid church. He was very happy.

“Then came news that his little son was seriously ill. It was cancer, and there was no hope. Death did not come swiftly. The little boy is still alive, perhaps to suffer a few weeks more. The minister and his lovely wife have carried on. He preaches to increasing congregations. He ministers to his people in the thousand ways that characterize a good minister of Jesus Christ.

“Every night, he sits for hours holding his son in his arms. The pain seems less when the father holds him close. The father sleeps on a mattress on the floor beside the boy, so he can take his son in his arms again whenever the boy cries out.

“He does not talk about his sorrow. He prays. He serves. He sends poinsettias at Christmas. That is what happens when a man bows before a Manger and kneels before a Cross.”

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