Written by De Dorman Edited by Sheila Wallace
2 Corinthians 4:7
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us."
"Who wants anything broken hanging on their Christmas tree?" thought Max, the little red Christmas bulb. He was disappointed to see that there was a big chip out of his top half. "It must have broken off when I was packed away last year."
Max had heard stories about where broken ornaments go and oh, how he was hoping that he would never have to go there. A toy soldier ornament told him that all of the broken ones must be disposed of. "Every decoration on the Christmas tree must be perfect!" he explained.
"Disposed of." were the words that kept echoing inside this little ornament. "What a terrible end!" the little red ornament said with a shudder. "Thrown out with the trash!"
The owner dropped the broken ornament, along with several other broken ones into a trash bag and set it in the alley in back of the house.
"All I wanted to do was to hang on the Christmas tree and look beautiful." whispered Max to himself.
"The city workers will come by in a few days to take away the trash." the owner said to himself. A feeling of pride came over him as he walked back to the house, ."Now I can decorate my Christmas tree with flawless ornaments.
It will be beautiful.. and perfect!"
A few stray cats clawed their way into the bag, as it awaited the dreaded pick up. For the most part, however, the wait was uneventful. That is, until just before the truck came down the alley.
A kind man came walking by and saw something shiny poking out of the torn bag. "What might this be?" he asked himself. "A bag of old ornaments?" After looking further, a little sparkle came into his eyes. A whirlwind of ideas dashed through his head as he walked to the front door of the owner's house. Confidently, he rang the bell and waited. When the owner answered, he saw that the man had the bag of broken ornaments in his hand.
"Sir.." the kind man began. "May I please take this bag that you have thrown away?"
"What do you want with broken ornaments?" the owner asked in disgust.
"Sir, I can fix these up, if you don't mind." the kind man responded.
"Go ahead and take them." the owner said as he waved his hand and shut the door, thinking that no good thing could come from the broken ones.
"Thank you." the kind man said as he ignored the owner's rude behavior.
This kind man had a secret; a very good secret. He was a very talented artist who was known for renovating almost anything; making something old or broken into something beautiful. Some things were even more beautiful than when they were first purchased. He saw potential in even the saddest looking piece of junk.
As he walked to his little shop with his bag full of broken ornaments, his thoughts raced as to what he would do with each piece. He smiled to himself as he entered his warm work shop and gently placed the bag on the table.
Each piece was taken out of the bag and placed in the light where the kind man could get a good look. Among the broken ones were stars that had lost their tips and wooden soldiers that were missing arms and legs.
As Max assumed his place in the light, he saw something that made him both happy and sad. It was the most beautifully decorated Christmas tree that he had ever seen. He was happy because it was lovely to look at, yet it saddened him because it reminded him of Christmases past where he, too, would have been proudly hanging on a beautiful tree. He remembered the words from the toy soldier, "Every decoration on the Christmas tree must be perfect!" But little did the red ornament know that he was in the best of hands.
Quietly, the kind man examined each broken ornament.. And then, as he reached for his box of supplies, he patiently began his work of transforming the broken ones into masterpieces!
While the kind man was working on other pieces, Max wondered if there was anything in him that was salvageable.. There were now several chips and scratches that needed mended.
His turn finally came and the kind man knew just what to do to make this ornament into something of beauty. As he lay in the warmth of the light, the little red ornament could see sparkles of gold and green. There were also various colors of ribbon and good, strong glue to hold everything together.
The kind man gently filled the chip in and smoothed out all the rough edges, but his masterpiece was just beginning to take shape. After the glue dried, the little bulb was given a fresh coat of red paint. As patient as he was trying to be, Max couldn't help but wonder what he would eventually look like. when the kind man was finished.
"He is such a patient man. Why would he take the time to do this on such an inexpensive bulb when he could buy new ones?" wondered the little red bulb.
When the paint was dry, the master artist proceeded with the transformation. Beautiful jewels of red and green were carefully placed alongside cords of gold. A splash of sparkly glitter and a beautiful tassel were added as the finishing touches.
"Now, my little broken one," began the kind man. "You will hang in a most honorable spot where many people will come and admire you from the window." The little red bulb couldn't believe where he was being taken. He was going to be hung on the beautiful tree that held all the perfect ornaments! He knew that he had a hidden chip and was not perfect; he wanted to object until he heard the kind man say, "You will look beautiful hanging alongside the other broken ones who have also been restored." As Max, the restored red bulb, hung in a most honorable spot, he saw that it was true...the others weren't flawless, they, too, had been touched by the master's loving hands.
Boys and girls, no matter your imperfections, you can be touched by The Master's hands and bring Him honor and glory. . Remember that His hands are gentle and His plans are wonderful.. but there is something that is hindering these wonderful plans in life if we do not know Jesus Christ as our Savior. It is SIN.. Jesus wants you to come to Him and admit that you are a sinner, )Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.") confessing your sins and asking Him for forgiveness. (Romans 10:13 "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.") He will come and live with you forever and help you through all your struggles and fears. No matter what your flaws are, He is waiting to come into your heart and life and help you become something beautifully touched by The Master's hands. .
Will you allow Him to do this?
1 Corinthians 2:9 "But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
Jeremiah 18:4"And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it."
John 3:16"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
Was the toy soldier correct when he told Max that every decoration on the beautiful Christmas tree must be perfect?
(Allow children to interact)
What did the master artist do to each of the broken ones?
He repaired and restored them.
Who does the master artist sound like?
When the master artist saw the discarded ornaments, what was he thinking? Did he look on their flaws of did he see what they could be?
He was thinking of what they could be with his tender touch.
What characteristics did the master artist display in order to transform the broken ones into something beautiful?
Patience, talent, love, kindness, gentleness
In order for the artist to do his work, he had to bring each broken piece to the light. Who is The Light of the world?
John 8:12 "Then spake Jesus.. saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth Me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."
Oh, Father in Heaven.. thank You for Your touch of kindness in each of our lives. Help us to be vessels of honor who demonstrate this same kindness and gentleness to others, for the gospel's sake.
(Ephesians 4:32"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another: even as God, for Christ's sake, hath forgiven you.")
The author salutes all the "Broken Ones" who have been touched by The Master's hands and are now serving Him, by serving others with this same kindness.
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