Well, Thanksgiving is behind us, the turkey has been eaten several nights in a row and now we are off to the races getting ready for Christmas. As you already know, Janet and I have this strict policy about not putting up any Christmas decorations until Thanksgiving, the “forgotten” holiday, is behind us and so this week-end after our company left to go home we broke out the stuff that has been in storage since last December.
We have decided to sort through some of the old decorations that have seen far better days and it looks like we are finally going to retire our old bottle-brush tree that we have had for many years. It just takes too long to put on all the lights and with all the new technology and the pre-lit trees, we just thought we would get out of the dark ages. One of our trees is filled with ornaments from trips we have taken throughout our married life together and it always brings back memories of the places we have travelled. This past summer Janet and I went to Hawaii even though our trip was cut short returning home for the funeral of Janet’s mother. Nonetheless, we picked up several mementos and it will be the first time for those ornaments on the tree.
Janet has the requisite number of Santas and she also has collections of angels and snowmen. The house looks like some sort of seasonal store by the time Janet gets done with it – but this year, we have decided to cut back a little. In fact, we have really been considering our social responsibilities even more than in the past. Not that we haven’t thought about all this before, but we have a stronger burden for helping others that we used to have.
Although they aren’t earth shattering changes in our life, we have adopted several ministries this year that have touched us in meaningful ways. For example, we help support children who come from families that can’t afford food or clothing for their school activities. And we have also developed a real heart for assisting young children who need extreme medical procedures to lead normal healthy lives. The truth is that there are hundreds – no, make that thousands of ministries that have a passion for different parts of the global population. So no matter what interests you may have, there is a place for you to use your time, talents and treasurers for the advancement of the kingdom of God.
By the way, you don’t have to deal with specific ministries to be a “minister.” To paraphrase Paul, we are all ministers by dealing in a God centered way during our daily lives. We should be able to demonstrate our faith without even speaking. Our actions should do our “talking” for us. Our usual vocations give us great platforms to help those who come in contact with us each day. And whether it is an unusually large tip for an unsuspecting server, or purchasing a cup of coffee for the car behind us in line at Starbuck’s, we each have many opportunities to reach out every time we leave our homes.
The verse for tonight reflects God’s desire for us to be a part of His kingdom revolution – not only during the Christmas season, but throughout all the seasons of your life. We are told in Matthew 25:40, “The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ My encouragement this evening is that no matter what season of life you are in, you should try as you are able to reach out and help others, as you have undoubtedly been helped throughout your own life. My prayer is that God will put specific areas of need on your heart and that you will develop a God sized desire to make a difference in the world. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…