A Moment for Mission
“And he shall stand and feed his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall live secure, for now he shall be great to the ends of the earth; and he shall be the one of peace.” Micah 5:4-5a, NRSV
You’ve finished gift shopping, mailed greeting cards, enjoyed holiday programs and completed other preparations for Christmas. Now what? For most of us, visions of sugarplums, peace on earth and doing unto others will soon become Christmas past.
Giving and sharing have no season. People suffer injustice every day. The lonely, rejected, poor, abandoned, abused, ill and judged cannot depend purely on happy holidays and good-natured givers to experience Christ. For them, survival depends on you and me treating every day like Christmas.
To keep and bring Christmas all year, listen to the teachings of Jesus. Feed the hungry, cloth the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the stranger and the unwanted child, care for the ill and love your enemies.
Jesus is not a once-a-year giver. He doesn’t need a special occasion to be generous. Any day is a day for giving.
“Do you remember that marvelous little story by Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas?” wrote Central Texas Bishop J. Michael Lowry in a 2012 article. “How, after all the trimmings and presents were stolen, the Whos of Whoville still sang? Let’s sing and reach out in love to the hungry the hurting and the homeless whether it be physical, spiritual or psychological.”
No matter the season, let us see the needs of others through Christmas eyes. Like Jesus, we can be a gift that keeps on giving.
Loving God, let us see the world through Christmas eyes every day. As we learned from Scrooge, “Let us honor Christmas in our hearts and try to keep it all the year.” Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Fourth Sunday of Advent - Faithful God, you astound us with your miracles! We rejoice that you sent your Son Jesus to bring light and salvation. We are grateful for your great wisdom and love in your actions toward humankind. Help us to be more like Mary, believing your Word and trusting in the fulfillment of your promises. We dedicate our tithes and offerings for the mission of this church, so that more people will find hope in waiting on Jesus the Christ. Amen. (Luke 1:46b-55)
Soon Christmas 2015 will be holiday past. During the hurried days of Advent, we’ve crammed our best intentions into colorfully wrapped boxes, homemade cookies and glittery greeting cards. We delivered meals, donated hand warmers to the homeless and caroled in retirement homes and homeless shelters. We’re tuckered out. Giving to others can be exhausting. Thank goodness, it’s 365 days before we have to do it all again!
Christmas doesn’t end on Dec. 25. Like Scrooge said, “Let us honor Christmas in our hearts and try to keep it all the year.” No doubt, Charles Dickens was a fan of the Bible.
We encourage you to stay in the holy moment and continue to live life in the spirit of Christmas present. As you discard wrappings and recycle the tree, remember that God’s love is not disposable. Christmas isn’t just a date on your calendar. It is a lifetime filled with ordinary and not-so-ordinary days that are gifts from God. Christmas-after-Christmas is not about presents. It is about God’s presence.