Two weeks from tomorrow I am leaving on a trip to SE Asia. I am super excited! One of the things we will be doing is participating in a project similar to Samaritan's Purse. We will be distributing boxes (about shoebox size) filled with small presents to children who are in orphanages or other poverty situations. I am filled with emotion as I anticipate the trip in light of how much my own family has been blessed this past year. My kids and husband (and me, too, for that matter) had trouble making a list of things we wanted -- we have so much. We had a mission emphasis in our church this past Sunday morning. Several people got up and spoke about specific mission projects our church has been involved with over this past year. The places we've gone, the things we have contributed to, and the lives we have touched as a congregation. I am overwhelmed and honored to be a part and fully aware that there is much more that we can and should do.
The true meaning of Christmas is the salvation story. "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son..." He was born by divine circumstance into a humble situation. Our nativities represent that humble beginning that we celebrate. It's more than just the birth. It's the beginning of the story of how God intentionally reached out to the whole of humanity to offer life. Yet, there are those who have never even heard the name of Jesus. Not just a plane ride away...right down the street, perhaps. Our job is to carry on the mission. More than a celebration of one day, December 25th, Christmas should be a celebration of a way of life. Giving, not just wrapped presents to the ones we love, but of ourselves, our time, our talents, our resources, and our energy.
One week from today is Christmas day. So even though I still have shopping to do, gifts to wrap, menus to plan, groceries to buy, I am desperately trying to stay focused on the purpose.
Jesus is, after all, the reason for the season.