Thursday, December 21, 2017


William H. Hinson, the late great Methodist preacher, was reared on a farm in rural Georgia. He claimed that his home was so rural that he had to go toward town to hunt. Bill remembered that occasionally they had to catch all the hogs on the farm and apply an awful-smelling concoction that kept some of the ticks and fleas off of them. Bill’s father would always say, “Boys, put an extra dose on every hog you catch, because you won’t be able to catch all of them. But sooner or later the ones you catch will rub up against the others and we’ll spread the stuff around.”

During the Christmas season, people are often together for worship, parties, and shopping. Some people are so burdened with trouble, grief, and heartbreak that they have little if any Christmas joy. Those of us who have been richly blessed must allow some of God’s grace to “rub off” on the others.

St. Paul expressed this mandate as follows: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God” (II Cor. 1:3-4).