[ENG] My Most Wonderful Christmas – Ray Lentzsch

At the university where I taught journalism, where, among others, ex president R. Nixon received his degree, all of the students had left for Christmas vacation, leaving the building empty. I was alone, the air was sad, no fireplace awaited my presence, my wife had left me, taking my three children with her. Seeking to flee from my anguish, I picked up the telephone to call a friend and go out and have a riotous time. But tired of running from the reality of my problems, I placed the receiver back in its cradle, while almost automatically taking out of my pocket a booklet that I had received a few days earlier. It was entitled “What must I do to be saved?”.

The first part of it struck me but I didn’t like it very much because it showed me that I was a sinner. But the second gave a glimpse of the Savior, as John the Baptist said as he pointed at Jesus: “Behold the Lamb of God, which takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). At the end of the booklet there was a prayer printed with a request for forgiveness and salvation which I made my own. There was also a coupon which could be cut out and sent away for more information on the subject, so I sent it off; why not? The address was 3,000 miles away and nobody would come to visit me. But in that moment I felt good, an indescribable well-being. Thinking that perhaps this was a temporary or psychological effect, I went home.

I was the guest of a friend’s grandmother. The next day, a gray morning, the countryside appeared as if it was painted green, the sky a never before seen blue, and at the table I said to the grandmother: “You’ve prepared me such a delicious breakfast!” – “But it’s the same as every morning!” she replied. In that moment the radio played one of Strauss’s waltzes and I took the old woman and swept her into a dance across the kitchen, at which she said, surprised: “Have you gone mad!?” But then, even more surprised she said to me: “Odd, when I went to make your bed I found it almost intact, not like the other mornings when I’ve found things upside down…are you alright?!” Of course I was alright. That was my most wonderful Christmas, because life, Jesus, had entered into my heart, and there was an uncontainable joy there.

I’ve been like this for 44 years now. After that day, my first desire was to fulfill the last commandment that Jesus gave his disciples, before he ascended to heaven after His resurrection: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20). By the grace of the Lord, among nations which rise up and die and break up into many fractions, I have traveled the world alone or in particular on the evangelical ships, Logos and Doulos of the “Operation Mobilization” mission, reaching 215 nations, to announce this wonderful Good News to millions of people.

Now I live in Israel seeking to communicate true peace, the peace of Jesus, but unfortunately, besides the suicide bombers, the majority of the Israelis and Palestinians are in agreement on only one thing: that Jesus is not the Son of God, that He is not God, and as you can imagine it is a daily battle. But soon, it will all be over and I’ll be with my Jesus in glory, in eternal peace, and with me millions of others who believe in Jesus have realized the true Christmas.

Will you be there too?

by Nicola Andrea Scorsone

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