Ordinary events can become extraordinary. I went with my friend Jackie Keyes to leave her car for an oil change! Herein is the unusual Christmas story.
When we returned to retrieve Jackie’s car, a pretty little blonde girl was sitting on the counter at “Keith Tire and Auto Service” in Magee. Obviously she was “helping” her Daddy, Rickey Keith, as he waited on a steady stream of customers. We met Elizabeth as she wrote some of the letters of her name with a pink crayon.
Inside the showroom is a large heavy reproduction of the Ten Commandments. We noticed the large plaque through the glass.
What I didn’t see until we returned for Jackie’s car was another set of Commandments outside. What a surprise. As Jackie and I exited my car and walked on the sidewalk to the front door, there lying flat on the sidewalk was another set of the Ten Commandments, broken, shattered, and pushed back together like a giant jigsaw puzzle.
What a visual. On the sidewalk, The Ten Commandments, broken! There inside the showroom, The Ten Commandments, as they were repeated. I had just been teaching those Scriptures at the Christian Women’s Job Corp!
I went inside to meet the owners and hear “the story” of the broken commandments. Rickey opened his cash register to retrieve a card. He looked through a stack, chose one card, and read the name aloud.
“My wife and I liked the idea of having the Ten Commandments in our business and we purchased the stone from Kevin Langford in Florence, Mississippi. His company is called ‘It’s All About Jesus Dying 4 U’ at this phone number: 1-601-431-0030.”
Rickey added, “We’ve had more people notice the broken Commandments than ever commented on the other. Now people inquire about how the commandments were broken. We know it was intentional for it would take two men to lift the heavy stone. Certainly the wind didn’t blow it down! It was picked up and broken.”
Rickey and Pam Keith own “Keith Tire and Auto Service,” located at 158 Simpson Highway 149, across from the Highway 49 Shell station in Magee. Rickey’s parents are Murry and Jean Keith. Murry started the business in 1970 and retired in 2003. Rickey and Pam have two children: Aaron, 7 and Elizabeth, 4. Pam is the daughter of the late Aylor and Darlene Padgett.
Meaning of the Commandments!
Remember the history of the 10 Commandments? God gave the Law to His people through His servant Moses on Mount Sinai (also called Horeb). As Moses came down the mountain with the two tablets of the Testimony, the people had built idols and worshipped them, already breaking the first three of God’s laws. Moses was so angry he threw down the two stone tablets, breaking them. You can read the entire account in your Holy Bible, Exodus 32-34.
A Practical Faith
Pam Padgett Keith was at work in her office just off the main showroom. We chatted as she answered several questions relating to when and why she and Rickey decided to display the Ten Commandments in their business.
“We put up the first one about two years ago,” she said. When it was broken about a year later, we ordered another one.”
“Our faith is very important to us. God meets all of our needs and takes care of us,” Pam continued. “We try to live by His Word and honor Him in all we do! We also have ‘The Beatitudes,’” Pam said. I had noticed the small plaque on a stand in Pam’s office with words from Jesus’ teachings from Matthew 5.
Advent Season and the Law of Love
Mississippi Moms, during your busy Advent season, ponder the true meaning of Christmas. Have you ever broken one of the moral laws of God? Of course we all have. God is holy. The law is holy and is our tutor to show we have all done wrong. But what can be done about sin? Only one person was sinless, the Lord Jesus Christ, and “The Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world!”
The Pentateuch is the Law, the first 5 books of the Jewish and Christian Scriptures, the Old Testament. The babe in the manger grew up to be our Savior! Jesus was quizzed by the religious leaders and lawyers, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important commandment?” Take a few minutes to read and reflect on the beautiful account in Mark 12!
As a boy, Jesus had studied the Law, including Deuteronomy 6. Jesus answered the questions by a summary of the Ten Commandments, adding one, “Love God with all your being and love your neighbor as yourself!” God’s holy Law shows us the difference between right and wrong. Paul wrote: “So the law was our schoolmaster, our teacher, to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.” Go see the impressive visual of the Commandments of God and focus today on the presence of God in your heart.
Let us all honor God this Christmas as Rickey and Pam Keith are doing in their business and their daily lives! Christmas blessings to all!