I confess that I am one of those people. One of the ones who grumble that Christmas decorations are showing up at the same time as halloween, way before Thanksgiving, and most have nothing to do with “the reason for the season”. As a culture, we are throwing a party that takes months to prepare for…and neglecting the guest of honor. As the e-waves are filling with stories of shopping and wish lists I would like to challenge us to remember why we give Christmas gifts. Is it because we love the person and this is an expression of that love? or because they gave us one last year? or we would feel guilty if we didn’t? The birth of Jesus was a gift from God to humanity that will keep on giving forever. He came with a ministry of service and sacrifice and love. We can never be more like Jesus than when we are serving those in need. “If you do it unto the least of one of these my brothers, you do it unto me”. I don’t want anyone to get me wrong. I’m not at all a Scrooge when it comes to giving. But I would like for us to consider what kind of giving would most honor the one we celebrate.
It’s fun to give some things just for fun but there are also gifts that fill a need and gifts of service. When my kids were young they did coupon books for things like back rubs, vacuuming, car washing, and we loved it. What if there was a gift of babysitting for a struggling single mom or a house project? Taking an elder out to lunch and spending face time might mean more than a knick knack. For the ones that really don’t need anything, what about giving to someone else with a need in their honor? There are a number of reputable agencies with gift catalogs for third world countries. At this point I will unashamedly plug World Hope International and the 10 well project I have partnered with them for. The need is more urgent than we are comfortable thinking about. A child dies every 20 seconds from dirty water related issues. It’s sobering to think of how many since I began writing today… BUT WE have the resources to make a difference. 40 families paid for our first well. Don’t be intimidated by what you can’t do. Be energized by what you CAN do. We can join together and another village can prosper because they have clean water.
Imagine: Typhoid down by 85 %, Children in school now that they aren’t sick or traveling for hours with their moms to get water, or babysitting the youngest while she is gone.
Imagine: Larger gardens now that mom is home more, yielding better crops to feed the family with some left over to sell.
Imagine as a parent, now having hope for your children’s future…
On the right is a link directly to World Hope to donate. They have set up a separate account for Friends and Family for Life.
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Blessings on you and your families as you prepare for Christmas in Jesus’ name.