As we are consumed with getting those special things for our loved ones and friends at this time of the year, God reminds us that His gift was given to those He didn’t know, the unloved, and the outcast. He tells us that it is by helping others – the poor and strangers – that we find help for ourselves. It truly is in giving that we receive.
How often do we walk by people on the streets – judging them, ignoring them, showing our fear or disdain for them? We may, in fact, not have a dollar to spare at that moment, but our love and empathy costs us nothing. If we have a roof over our heads, we do have the means for serving these in our community, from writing a check to a charity or mission project, providing a used coat for a teenager, dropping off a few canned goods at the local food bank, to adding one small gift to our Christmas list for someone else’s child. Jesus taught that it is not the size of the gift, but the size of our heart that matters.
Help a child discover the joy of giving. Whether with your own children, a niece, a nephew, a neighborhood kid or one borrowed from church, take a child to the store to buy a gift for a needy child or to fill a Christmas box for a missionary family. Have them collect canned goods from the neighborhood for the food bank. Take them with you to deliver toys to a children’s shelter. Help them understand how good it feels to give.
Sue Breland, Worship For One: Advent Emmanuel ©