Real Christmas giving conclusion

Published 9:52 am Saturday, January 1, 2022

Recently, I shared a plea from a family asking for help. Christmas can be a visible reminder of who receives generously and who gets little or nothing! Christmas was never meant to be that way.

Jesus was born in a cattle stall surrounded by farm animals. God’s Heavenly Angels appeared to a group of poor shepherds outside of Bethlehem. What happened to the original message of Christmas?

“There were times when I got caught up with the madness of Christmas, the lights, presents, getting into debt, trying to buy everybody a gift. But I have gotten older and the true meaning of Christmas has changed. I don’t worry about not having a gift to buy. With so much uncertainly today, we should concentrate more on giving and less on receiving.” Cynthia

“I grew up in a rather large and famous church. So, I called their office and asked if there was a family that could use some help and fellowship. They had no idea what I was talking about. They didn’t know of one single family, student or elderly person that fit the bill. Something is wrong with that picture. Have we forgotten how hard the holidays can be on folks?” Rebecca

Mike Slaughter in his book, “Christmas Is Not Your Birthday” writes: “We are called at Christmas and all year through to look for and serve Jesus. We can let the light of Christ shine in our lives through the love we show to others.”

“We do food baskets at our church and get toys for children and give them to the needy in our area. I am frequently reminding folks that ‘Jesus is the Reason for the Season.’” Margaret

“We sponsor a family each year and buy gifts for the children. We want to help.” Buzz

How will you and your church respond to the birth of Jesus Christ?

The churches I serve in Louisa County support “The Santa Council” which provides boxes with the complete ingredients for a Christmas meal including a turkey as well as clothing, toys, books and other gifts for approximately 600 families each year. Formed in 1988 by people who wanted to divide the assistance at Christmas in a more equitable way. Social services often provided many of the families who needed help. Staffed completely by volunteers so there is virtually no overhead.

One church met with community leaders several years ago and organized “Christmas Parents” which honors “special” parents as examples, then receives donations and presents from others throughout the county providing Christmas for over 500 children every year.

Another church solicits names of needy children from area elementary schools then matches, those names with families from their congregation who include those children as part of their Christmas shopping. This church provides Christmas to hundreds of needy children every year.

A family read our devotion several weeks ago about a family asking for help and is now in the process of providing Christmas for both the children and parents.

Mike Slaughter is right: Christmas is not your birthday. So, our challenge is to find creative ways to express our love for Jesus as we honor His birthday.

What better way to put Christ in your Christmas this year than by helping someone in need? God will bless you for it. Have a merry Christmas and blessed 2022.

Rev. Larry E. Davies can be reached at larrydavies@vaumc.org.