Monday, November 26, 2007

At Christmas we remember God

"At Christmas we remember God’s greatest gift to the World, His only begotten Son. Sadly multitudes will receive no gift this Christmas, but the greater tragedy

is in having nothing to give. Let us remember the words of our Lord, "It is more blessed to give than to receive".

The closing words of Pastor’s Christmas sermon struck a chord deep within my soul. Boy, had I been giving out this Christmas. There was the extra Christmas cake for Mrs. G. The stroke had left her paralyzed, and baking was out of the question for her. Then there was the Christmas cake for newly widowed Mr. B. The look on his face when he unwrapped the parcel. I smiled inwardly… Oceans of shortbread endless heaps of rocky road, and truffles, tied up with cellophane and ribbon. My brow creased in concentration. No….no I hadn’t forgotten a single family in the Church. And I’d put my whole heart into the Christmas Shoebox appeal. Last, but not least yet another mission jumble sale, and thankfully we had exceeded our target yet again! What a busy time it had been – but well worth the effort. I shut my eyes and began to bask in a warm glow of self – satisfaction.

Without warning the memory of a rather forlorn figure sitting on a suitcase appeared before my eyes.
On one side were two overstuffed laundry bags, and standing at her other side were two small children. The memory did not fade and I began to feel uncomfortable.
I began to excuse myself ... after all there was no chance of stopping, I was in traffic.
My small children were in the car too, they needed my attention right now.
Maybe she was just going on a trip, and didn’t need help
Anyhow taking in the homeless was not my ministry.
It was no use. I slid to my knees, groaning.
" O God, I’m sorry I was too busy doing stuff for you, to be directed by you. Help me be more sensitive, and somehow bless that lady, Amen"

Two small hands clasping mine interrupted my reverie.
"Come on Mummy they’re starting to give out the Sunday school prizes. We don’t want to miss out". I nodded my head in agreement.
"Please hurry Mummy!"
My pace quickened as we headed toward the Church hall . Two figures were leaving the hall and heading my way. One was the Pastor’s wife, the other a shabbily dressed lady I didn’t recognize.
"Ann, I’d like you to meet Laurie. She’s visiting with us for a few days over Christmas. Her kids are about the same age as yours. They might like to sit together in the hall."
I glanced at the children, and then back at their mother. Could it be? Surely this was the lady I’d seen!
" And the greatest thing has happened Ann, Laurie has just received Jesus as her Lord and Saviour, praise the Lord! There’s always room in God’s heart for one more in the family." My eyes started to brim over with tears.
"That’s the best news I’ve heard this Christmas. Welcome to God’s family Laurie!"
"Thank you" she whispered and a shy smile eased worry lines that appeared too early on her thin face.
A loud "Come on Mum " from the door startled us.
"Oops we’d better go in."

My heart filled with happiness and gratitude to a Saviour who answers every prayer, and meets the needs of all his kids.

May we all have the eyes of our heart opened this Christmas to meet the needs He entrusts as with. We all have so much to give with Christ in our hearts.

Julie Shapland

No comments:

Post a Comment