"Whatever you do for the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you do for me" (--my paraphrase of Matthew 25:40).
I asked the girls yesterday if they would be willing to give gifts to Jesus this year instead of getting gifts on Christmas. Their response was a resounding, "YES!" Eyes lit up at the idea. Oh, to be like a child.
We talked about the verse above and big girl said, "So, if we give presents to people that need them, we are giving gifts to Jesus?" Yep, baby girl, that's what He says. It's almost impossible to wrap our brain around, but it's true.
We had this discussion in our car right before going into Kroger and we immediately got to test their sincerity. As soon as we walked in the store, both girls headed for a display of Christmas Cacti and said, "Can we get one?" I said, as a question, "We can get one to give to someone else?" They each wanted to take one to some people in the nursing home; so, I let them pick one each. They later decided to give them to two people that we know (that aren't in need but we just wanted to bless).
We also bought a bunch of cards that we talked about giving to people--not just our friends and family, but people we usually overlook, like our mail lady and the men who pick up our trash and recyclables, the preschool janitor and our librarian...and on and on as God reveals them to us.
After discussing this with my man, we have decided this is good for us this year. We already have a couple of stocking stuffers and one gift that we were going to let the girls share, but we just aren't going to buy anymore. They'll still get gifts on Christmas morning, but just not their usual 3 gifts each.
I'm excited. I'm excited because the girls are excited. They have already been brainstorming ways we can give, and my man and I are brainstorming too. And a lot of it won't require spending any money. We just want to be helpful and generous this Christmas season. And always. I'm hoping this is a jump-start to a lifestyle of thinking of others' needs before our own needs and wants.
Lord, let it be. Amen.
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]” (Luke 10)
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ (Matthew 25)