Oh Christmas Time

So I am back in New Jersey for Christmas. So far it’s been pretty chilly and rainy. I’m hoping that by Christmas some of this rain will turn to snow because we all know that there is nothing like a white Christmas.

When I am up here I always find it interesting the things I get asked to do. Well I had an opportunity the other day to go to my old high school and speak to the FCA. It was a good time. Not so often do I get to speak to a group… you know being a drummer and all. Anyway, I spoke to them about something God has been putting on my heart this Christmas. I was at church a couple weeks ago listening to a sermon and the pastor started to get me to think about some things. Why is it that we celebrate the birth of our Saviour by the giving of random gifts? I mean really, nothing says “Rejoice, our Saviour is born” like a 12 piece barbecue set. So I started to think about this holiday and all of the weird things we do that really have nothing to do with Christ. Christmas trees, mistletoe, stockings, cheese logs, candy canes, fruitcakes, Santa Clause… the list goes on. Well I started to ask myself how has Christ loved me in this season and then how can I respond to that by doing the same to others. Isn’t this what Jesus asks of us… ” A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” (John 13:34) The simple answer to this is that Christ humbled himself by becoming man. Or better yet he gave of himself for the sake of others.

So my challenge for these students and for myself has been, “How do we love others at Christmas time through humility and the giving of yourself?” A very simple way that we can do this is by being very intentional about community this Christmas. What if stopped giving random $5 Rubik cube key chains and instead spent that $5 on taking a friend to coffee and actually spent time with them and prayed for them? What if your white elephant Christmas group took all the money they were going to spend and put it together to buy blankets? Then as a group went and handed them out to the homeless. How much more joy would we have this Christmas season. Another way that we can keep Christ in our Christmas is to give gifts to the poor on behalf of someone else. What do I mean? For example. There are many organizations that need our help to stop the food crisis in the world. Organizations like Compassion, IGL, or the Heifer Project give you the opportunity to give gifts to people in need in foreign countries. So what if instead of buying your wife the kitchenaid mixer she always wanted you buy a goat for a family in India and tell your wife that she was the reason that family will have food and income for the next few years. Crazy idea I know. I mean we might need to sacrifice a few nonessential things this year, but the impact we could make is huge.

Just a thought. Something for you to chew on. Check out this site if you want to see how else you can help.

http://www.iglworld.org/