The Storyteller Tells a Story of Faith…
Merry Christmas! That’s a strange thing to say in January just a few short weeks after celebrating the birth of Jesus. While the calendar tells us Jesus’ birthday is December 25th, we don’t know the exact day Jesus was born. Scholars worldwide continue to dispute the actual day of His birth to His earthly parents. No matter what day it is, if we truly carry Jesus in our hearts, everyday should be His birthday!
I John 4:14 “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be Savior of the world.” (NIV)
Every Christmas is special when we celebrate Jesus’ birthday, but Christmas 2016 was especially so. We were invited to share Christ’s love with some very special children from the community, and doing so was a blessing to those who participated. Rice Elementary School began the Christmas sharing with a request to assist one family with four children who had fallen on hard times. We received a wish list of needs for the family, and people from Mt. Zion participated in shopping for gifts and collecting food. About a week after the first request came to us, we had another request from Rice Elementary to assist another family. This family had 2 children, and like the first, they also submitted a wish list of needs. Due to the generosity of many participants, the requests on these lists were filled quickly. We thought we were done – God had blessed us with the opportunity to assist two needy families. But not so quick, God had other ideas.
About two weeks before Christmas, God blessed us with another opportunity to show Christ’s love. We received a request to assist three more families from Mt. Holly Elementary School. These three families included another seven children. Following the previous process, we received lists of wants and needs from these families, and we went shopping again. Before long, all the gifts were purchased, wrapped and delivered to the schools in time for the families to pick them up for Christmas. Each child from the five families received clothes, boots/shoes, coats, shirts, pants, socks, pajamas and toys according to their wish list. Five boxes of food were given to each of the five families as well. The Counselor at Mt. Holly Springs Elementary wrote her thanks by saying, “I have been coordinating holiday help for many years and have never experienced what you have coordinated. I am overwhelmed by your generosity.”
Meantime at Barnitz Church, they were shopping for Christmas gifts for children in need at North Dickinson Elementary School. While their process is a little different than Mt. Zion’s, the outcome was much the same. Children were provided with new, warm clothing, shoes, boots and toys they wouldn’t have received without the work of some caring individuals. They even pulled together a meal for a family. They purchased gifts for dozens of children and delivered them to the school before Christmas. Bill March (B) said, “It was our most successful year ever for this project.”
I Timothy 6:18 “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share (NIV).
While we marvel in our hearts about the goodness of people, we know that God truly blesses us with the chance to do good for others. This could possibly have been the first time someone did something so nice for one of the people we were asked to help who is a complete stranger to us, but please let this not be the last. This is the perfect way to share God’s love with those around us – even those we have never met and may never meet again. Let’s not miss this opportunity! Let us all resolve to keep Christmas (the love of Jesus Christ) in our hearts all year long forever and ever!
“Generosity is impossible apart from our love of God and of His people. But with such love, generosity is not only possible but inevitable.” John MacArthur (American Pastor and Author)