Beyond Christmas

Beyond Christmas

Matthew 25:40: “And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’ 

How many things do you take for granted every single day? Do you think twice before setting the heater up in the morning upon getting out of bed? Are you warm in a comfortable bed with blankets covering you completely? Will you and/or your loved ones have presents under the Christmas tree? As we are entering the winter season, do you have a variety of coats, hats, gloves, and scarves to choose from to help keep away winter’s chill or maybe even to help you appear more stylish?
 
Have you seen the commercial on TV supporting the Salvation Army Angel Tree? Pulls. Heart. Strings. It speaks of children who wake up on Christmas morning with no presents to open. Most of us have happy childhood memories of waking our parents and maybe siblings on Christmas morning because the excitement and joy was so incredibly overwhelming! Can you imagine the sadness and disappointment those kids who have nothing under their tree must experience? It is a reality; one that the Salvation Army works to remedy. On Monday night a group of ladies representing CCC (Christ Community Church) swarmed the local Wal-Mart and shopped until our hearts were content. (Well, maybe not quite. Is that even possible? :) We shopped for 17 angels from Shelby County ranging from toddlers to teens.  Some of the unexpected items listed by our angels included diapers, socks and underwear, coats, and push/pull toys for toddlers. Nothing extravagant, basic necessities and a couple toys to make these children more than happy Christmas morning. What would your response be upon receiving socks or underwear for Christmas gifts? Embarrassment, disappointment? We shopped to bless a child and family for Christmas, when in all actuality we were the recipients of a blessing that came in the form of humility. Humility can be a tough pill to swallow. But being humbled by God can make you open your eyes to the blessings He provides us with daily, blessings we take for granted, blessings we certainly do not deserve but He freely gives to us in spite of ourselves. If you need to be reminded that we and our kids are BLESSED beyond belief, this is your invitation to join us next year. Be prepared to be humbled. 
 
It is incredibly easy to become discontent with what we have and what we do not have. There are times in life when a consious decision must be made to be thankful. And content. And to pray for a thankful heart instead of harbor jealousy for what others may have and we think we “need”. When, in all actuality, we have all we need and more: a roof over our heads, food to eat, clean water to drink, clothes to cover our bodies. Most of us have these things in abundance. These things cost money. Some people struggle daily to provide these basic needs for themselves and their familes; people right here in our little town-neighbors, family, friends, passers-by on the street. The greatest need we all have is absolutely free. It costs us absolutely no money whatsoever. Granted, being a Christian-a follower of Christ-may cost you pride, jealousy, a personal vice, friends, time, etc. But experiencing the love of Christ is so much more fulfilling than all those things that we hold onto with such a strong grasp! And the joy God allows to fill your heart when you share His love with others is indescribable! Find a way to share God’s love with someone this Christmas season. Most importantly, figure out a way to share God’s love everyday. Could there be a more perfect New Year’s resolution?!? What a difference we, as Christ’s hands and feet, could make in 2012!!!