Doing Christmas

“It is easy to think Christmas, and it is easy to believe Christmas, but it is hard to act Christmas.” [Act Christmas by anonymous]*

Scripture, especially Matthew chapter 25 gives me ideas of how to act Christmas. There is related that Jesus will say to some, “Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” because they fed, clothed, and in other ways ministered to Him. When questioned about when they had ministered in such ways, he answered: 

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, ‘Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.’” Matt. 25:40

So it seems that doing Christmas is more about serving others, meeting others’ needs. Perhaps even sacrificial giving.

When my son was young, we started a tradition of hanging a stocking for Jesus. It was just a dark green singleton that’d lost its mate. Humble, like Jesus. But as we went through the Advent season it was a great visual reminder to think about what would make Him happy. We filled the stocking with slips of paper identifying gifts given in Jesus name ~~ gifts of time, love, words, cookies. But also times we had chosen to yield our way, our turn, our preference in favor of someone else.  Continue reading

Where Love is

Each year we spend time in the story “Where Love Is,” by Leo Tolstoy. Sometimes we read, but our favorite is to listen to the amazing radio drama version played years ago on the Moody Bible station. 

God tells recently widowed shoemaker Martin that He will visit this day. Listening to it is so rich. We’re impacted by even the sound of the wind blowing when Martin opens his door to assist a child pelted with snowballs. We’re caught up at the crunch of snow as tired street sweeper Ivan walks away, warmed by Martin’s mug of hot tea and pair of gloves. 

Martin’s assistance to others passing his window continues, but his disappointment is palpable as the day grows late. He sighs, glancing at the window. “Lord, I thought you were coming today. … I guess it was only a dream. A lonely old man’s dream.” 

He opens his Bible and reads from Luke, but his eyelids grow heavy and he slumbers. Suddenly a voice calls his name. He startles, runs to the door, and flings it open. 

 

Darkness stared back. He slammed it. “Acht. Another dream.” 

“No, Martin. It is I, your Lord.”

“But, Lord, where were you? I thought you were coming to visit me   today.” Martin held his breath. Maybe he should not complain to the Savior.

            “But I did come today, Martin. You were a wonderful host. Did you not see me?”

            “No, Lord. I did not see you. When did you come?”

“But you fed me, Martin. You warmed me, and you clothed me.” 

Martin scratched his head. “Lord, when did I feed you? Or warm or clothe you? I did not see you.” 

Then the soft, clear voice said, “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.”

In his mind, Martin saw the old street sweeper; the sad, young lad; the frightened young mother with the hungry child. And he smiled.

“Thank you, dear Lord, for visiting me today.”

“It was my pleasure, Martin.” *

 What are some of your favorite Christmas stories?

[* Note: Section transcribed from the Moody Bible broadcast, but I’m unable to give credit to specific copywriters as MBN can no longer locate information about this radio play. ]