Amy Rees Anderson

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

Welcome back everyone! I hope all of you had a fantastic Thanksgiving Holiday! I definitely loved the time with my family. The food was amazing, although I ate so much I am quite certain I won’t be able to fit into my clothes tomorrow…sadly…one thing I don’t love about the holidays is the aftermath that the holidays do to my waistline and thighs…yikes! We played games, watched movies, and sang songs. The only hard part was saying goodbye to my kids tonight as I sent them back to college again. I loved having them home. But the good news is that they only have two more weeks in the semester and then they are home again for Christmas…YAY!

It is no wonder they call the holiday season “the most wonderful time of the year.” There is something so amazing about this time of the year! There is a spirit about the holiday season that makes it magical. The world seems happier and people are more kind to one another. Hearts soften at Christmas. I love the Christmas music and Christmas lights and hot chocolate with whipped cream and candy canes…I love it all…

One thing I especially love is the Hallmark Christmas movies that are on all month. They are awesome and they bring the spirit of Christmas into our home. We watched several of them over the holiday and in one movie they talked about the story about the Fourth Wise Man. I hadn’t heard that story before and it really touched me so I wanted to share a summary of it with you to help start your month off with the Christmas spirit.

The Other Wise Man

Long ago, there lived a wise man in a land to the east. His name was Artaban. Artaban and three of his friends had seen a new star. The old books said the star meant a new king would was born in the land of Israel. They knew it was very important to go and see this king. Artaban sold his palace and everything he owned so he could purchase three gifts for this new king. The gifts were three large jewels – one red, one blue and one white. His friends began the trip before he did, but he rode very fast for several days to catch up with them at their meeting place. Along the way he saw a sick man lying in the road and he decided to stop and help the sick man. When Artaban finally made it to the meeting place, his friends were already gone. He had to sell his blue jewel to buy food and camels so he could finish his journey, but he still had the other two jewels to give the king.

Finally he arrived in Bethlehem. A woman with a baby let him know that the new baby king was gone to Egypt. As they talked soldiers came into the street looking to kill all the new babies at the direction of King Herod. The mother was frightened for her baby’s life.  Artaban went to the door to meet the soldiers and offered them his red jewel if they would walk away. He still had one jewel left for the king.

Artaban went to Egypt and along the way he stopped to help a tremendous number of people in need. By the time he arrived in Egypt the new king had left to Nazareth. Again he went to find the king and again he stopped many times along the journey to help others in need. Finally he returned to Israel, now an old man with grey hair. When he got to Jerusalem people were mourning over the loss of a man that was called “the King of the Jews”.  Artaban realized that the king he had spent so many years looking for had been crucified before he had been able to give him his gifts and get to know him. As he stood by the cross he saw soldiers taking a woman to jail. Artaban stopped them and gave them his last white jewel he had been saving for the king so the woman could be released. As Artaban walked away he heard a quiet voice say, “It’s all right, Artaban. Every time you helped someone who was sick or scared, you helped me.”  Artaban had known the king the entire time and he had shown the king his love for him by serving others, for “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”  – Matthew 25:40.

 Who seeks for heaven alone to save his soul,

May keep the path, but will not reach the goal;

While he who walks in love may wander far,

Yet God will bring him where the blessed are.

                                     -Henry Van Dyke

 Welcome to the Holiday Season everyone! Happy December!!


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