If Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus (and it does), how can we give a gift to Him?
At first the answer may not seem obvious, but with a little searching of the scriptures, Jesus tells us exactly what’s on His birthday list this year… and every year:
“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
“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 25:37-40 ESV
When we feed or clothe a stranger, or visit someone in the hospital or prison, we have blessed the King. As I mentioned in last week’s post, I’m not bothered by the gift-giving at Christmas. But I do hope that we give with a sense of purpose: to honor Him.
Perhaps this Christmas consider giving to someone in need — an individual or to an organization that meets the needs of individuals — as a way to give to Jesus. For example, our family loves cycling, so one year we donated money to purchase a bicycle for an itinerant pastor in Africa through a para-church organization. Another year we specifically outfitted a child who couldn’t afford clothing that met his school’s dress code.
No gift has thrilled me as much to give as the ones I’ve given to Him in such a way.
I like to think He enjoys ‘opening’ them, too.
I share these stories as examples of ways to give in this fashion, not to have our deeds seen by men. I’d love to hear your ideas and stories so that all of us can be similarly inspired. Will you consider sharing in the comments?