As I worked in my kitchen doing my dishes and listening to Christmas music, a song came on called Do They Know It’s Christmas Time? by Band Aid. Immediately, it took me back to my adolescent days (dating myself here!). As I sang along to the familiar lyrics, I really was struck by the message. The message was that the children of Africa might not have food to eat, clothes to wear, medical care, or even presents this Christmas. This is true not only in Africa, but also right here in our own communities.
One of the lyrics said, “Tonight thank God it’s them instead of you.” Something akin to shame and conviction came into my heart. How selfish am I to want a white pea coat from Old Navy when some children in this world didn’t even eat today? How would I feel as a mother if that were my child? Wouldn’t I want the best for them? It is so easy to get caught up in our own little world and miss what is really happening around us.
The lyric I was most moved by said, “The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life.” I know in the mind of the writer this meant no gifts or presents for Christmas. However, I was thinking in my mind, Wouldn’t that be great if that is what everyone got for Christmas? If everyone in the world could truly know about the gift that was given to them on Christmas morning in the birth of Jesus Christ and believe that He was the Savior of the world, the greatest gift we each would receive is eternal life. It is the greatest gift anyone will ever get.
So, do we know it is Christmas time? Are we too caught up in ourselves, our families, and our friends that we are not able to see those who are in want? Those who are in need? Would Christ want us to stay focused on ourselves or others? Here are some ideas of ways you could reach out to those in need this Christmas season.
*Leave food anonymously on the doorstep of someone you know who is out of work.
*Make it a goal to put $1 or more into the Salvation Army bucket every time you see one this Christmas season.
*Invite someone to go to church with you.
*Invite someone over to your home for dinner.
*Buy one less gift for someone or spend less money on each person and donate that money to a charity.
*Take a meal or treats to someone who is homebound.
*Witness to someone about the true meaning of Christmas.
*Buy presents for someone in your church who can’t afford presents this year. Drop them off anonymously at the church for the family with a tag that reads “Love, Jesus”.
This weekend a guest speaker at our church said, “It was death for the giver and life for the receiver.” God’s gift to us was Christ’s death on the cross. The gift we receive, if we choose to, is to live forever. What if this Christmas we die to our greed or die to our selfishness and give more so someone can live without shame, or live without hunger, or live knowing that they are loved and cherished. It is our challenge as Christian to show the world that we do know it is Christmas time and what Christmas time truly means.