This is the last Sunday before Christmas. Christmas is the time of the year when Christians worldwide celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Jesus was born in a manager, surrounded by stable animals, instead of the soft and comfortable accommodations that were fit for a king. And, normally, at this time of the year, I would be writing about His birth, about Joseph and Mary, and the angels that appeared to herald the news that the Son of God was becoming flesh. But, that is not what I am going to talk about today.
Today, I am going to talk about giving. It was love that brought Jesus to the world, and it was love that kept Him on the cross. God loved us so much that He GAVE us Jesus and sent Him to the earth as a living sacrifice for all of us. The Lord gave us the ultimate gift, and at this time of the year, when so many people are giving gifts, we need to remember the greatest gift ever given.
God did not give His gift to only a select few, but he gave it to everyone. I know that most of us have a long list of people we are giving gifts to this Christmas, but most of the recipients are our family and friends. We might not have the means or capability to give to everyone like the Lord, but could we do a little extra for someone in need?
35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ 37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ 41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ 44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ 45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ 46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”
This year has been extra hard on a lot of people. Many have lost their jobs, and the stress of Christmas is an added burden that weighs on a lot of people. Some may be struggling to pay the bills, and the thoughts of buying a Christmas present is the farthest thing from their minds. It is easy for us adults to understand why no Christmas gifts will be exchanged, but children don’t’ understand. They have no concept that paying the electric bill comes before buying a bicycle or a doll.
This past Sunday, I listened to an online sermon from Pastor Michael Todd from Transformation Church. I listen to Pastor Todd often throughout the week, and I love his straight talk about the Bible and how he breaks his message down where even I can understand. This past Sunday, I watched as this church gave away over 3 MILLION dollars to churches, organizations, and people in need. His message was, they (the church) have been blessed, and they were using the funds to bless others. Then, he challenged the congregation and those listening online, “Go, and do the same.”
I’ve given this a lot of thought this past week. I don’t have 3 million dollars to give out, but I do feel like I have been blessed. The Lord has blessed my family in many ways, and I want to be a blessing for someone else. So, I am asking for your help. I would love for you to leave a comment if you know of someone who is in need of a little extra money this Christmas. Please, don’t leave any names, but leave a short description of the problem. My plan is to give ten people $100.00 each, but that is a flexible number. If you don’t feel comfortable leaving a comment, then you can privately email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, now, I challenge you to go and do the same. You need to figure out what this means to you. Maybe it means donating extra coats or shoes that you have to shelters. Maybe it means dropping off groceries to a neighbor. Or, maybe it is making lap throws for the nursing homes or retirement facilities. I know that COVID is making it harder to volunteer and give back to our communities, but I am sure that you can find a way if you are creative.
The world would be a much better place if we took the blessings we have and blessed someone else.
To Go Goes The Glory!
Have A Blessed Day!