It’s that time again. The Christmas crazies afflict the masses. The focus is gifts for those dear to us, but is it on the needs of the weak?
If I am honest with you, Christmas this year has been a struggle. My heart just hasn’t been in it. Maybe it’s the depression or the anxiety or any other issues I’m facing, but something just seems off.
The modern Christmas celebration seems so selfish and inward facing.
- What will I get?
- How much do I need to spend to make sure what they get from me is stellar and praise inducing?
- Why should I get them something, I gave them something excellent last year and got zilch in return. In fact, the ingrates sold it at a yard sale for pennies!
Is this all Christmas has come to be?
I like to give and receive presents as much as the next person, and I have spent hours adding things to my Amazon wish list hoping someone will buy me that particular gadget or item.
But something is missing from this Christmas! And, I don’t mean the celebration of Jesus’ birth. Churches and homes around the world celebrate the birth of the Christ child.
It’s something else.
The Gifts We Give
We fill the coffers of stores to overflowing buying temporary satisfactions and unneeded, possibly unwanted, things. Debts soar for many as they try to make sure their kids get the best and their gifts outshine those of other’s kids. Just a few weeks or months will pass before many of those gifts lose their attraction and are left forgotten, untouched, unneeded.
- Is this the best we can do to celebrate the season honoring our Saviour’s birth?
- Is this the best lesson we can teach our children?
What a sad Christmas if it is.
A Christmas Reminder from an ‘Unusual’ Source
This morning as I read in Acts, I came across Paul’s farewell to the Ephesian leaders he had worked with and discipled. These were individuals in which he had invested. They mattered to him, and in his parting words he shares:
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
Acts 20:35. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016. Print.
Paul’s farewell was not about Christmas but rather about the Christian lifestyle. Even so, three encouragements stand out in his words that have attuned my thoughts this Christmas:
- Work Hard
- Help the weak
- Give and Meet their Needs
- How can I be content with extravagant gifts and giving when there’s a family down the street struggling to eat? I’m not.
- How can I justify the massive amounts spent on trinkets and gadgets, when someone I know is at risk of losing it all? I can’t.
- How can I claim to Love God and Love people but ignore the desperate cries of the weak? The only way is if it’s a lie.
…All for the sake of celebrating ‘Christmas.’
My heart is troubled. The needs and the weak are great. How will we make a difference in their lives this Christmas? Will we even try?