Wait, wait, wait. Not that Christmas. This Christmas:
Meet Christmas Evans, a Welsh Baptist minister, regarded as one of the greatest preachers in the history of Wales, who was born on—you guessed it—December 25.
Though born on Christmas day in 1766, his father died shortly after and Christmas had a rough childhood. He was sent to live with his mother’s brother on a farm where the uncle was a cruel man, a drunk and allowed no education.
When Christmas was 17, he could neither read nor write and had been given no moral or religious training. “He was repeatedly involved in fights; only the providence of God kept him from being killed,” Author Warren W. Wiersbe said. “Once he was stabbed, and once he nearly drowned. In one of these brawls he lost his right eye; for the remainder of his life he had to daub the empty socket with laudanum to ease the pain.”
At the age of 17, Christmas left his uncle’s farm and went to work for a Presbyterian minister and in the months that passed soundly converted.
In quick order he learned to read and write and began doing ministry in small ways and as he studied the Bible his religious convictions changed and he joined a Baptist church. He taught himself Hebrew and Greek and was a constant reader.
He greatly impacted the Welsh church before he died in 1838 and through his ministry and recorded words, continues to advance the Kingdom of God despite his death. Here are some of his words:
“Always have a book to read, instead of indulging in vain conversations. Strive to learn English. …Remember this, that you cannot commit some loved sin in private and perform the work of the ministry in public, with facility and acceptance.”
“The Gospel, as a glass [mirror], should be kept clean and clear in the pulpit, that the hearers may see the glory of Christ and be changed to the same image.”
“Preach the Gospel of the grace of God intelligently, affectionately, and without shame—all the contents of the great box, from predestination to glorification. …Let the preacher influence himself; let him reach his own heart, if he would reach the heart of others; if he would have others feel, he must feel himself.”
“Grant Thy blessings upon bitter things, do brighten and quicken me more and more, and do not depress and make me more lifeless.
Suffer me not to be trodden under the proud feet of members or deacons, for the sake of Thy goodness.
Help me to wait silently, and patiently upon Thee, for the fulfillment of these things, and not to become enraged, angry, and speak unadvisedly with my lips, like Moses, the servant of the Lord.
Sustain my heart from sinking, to wait for fresh strength from Zion.”
“Life is the only cure for death, not the prescriptions of duty, not the threats of punishment and damnation, not the arts and refinement of education, but new, spiritual Divine Life.“