Tomorrow marks one year since the horrific shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, CT. Hard to believe it has already been a year since everyone received news of what had taken place. Who would have thought that someone would actually go after the children? Even in jails, there seems to be a mindset that those who have abused children are treated the worse by other inmates because they are so innocent and full of life and energy. Then, on that fateful day, it was all taken away. Families left shattered through a holiday season supposed to bring joy and family fun. Christmas presents under their tree never to be opened by the one they were intended for. My heart breaks for those families today. My prayers go out to them through yet another holiday season where there will be tears and memories. But none of that will bring back their loved ones. Many things are being done around the US in their memory. One thing is simply challenging people to perform a random act of kindness. It seems simple enough; until we stop thinking about it. It is so easy to get caught up in our own lives we forget there are millions of people in the US alone who are not as well off as we are. There are people who will not spend time with loved ones this holiday season; children who will not have presents to open. I do not say this to cause you to feel guilty, but to remember just how much you are blessed with. Christmas around the world for Christians is also a time of stiffer persecution. Many anti-Christian groups use Christmas as a time to commit various acts against Christians. I learned that from reading the book The Global War on Christians by John Allen.
So, throughout this season, spend time with loved ones and be with them. Strive to not allow yourself to get caught up in finding the “perfect” gift because in so many people’s lives, the best present is your presence. How can you be present in someone else’s life this holiday season? Do you know someone who has lost a loved one? Do you know a family whose child might not have anything to open this Christmas morning? How can you serve? Because this is the message of Christmas, Christ became one of us to serve us.
Matthew 20:28 – “even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Philippians 2:5-7 – “Have this mind among yourselves which is yours in Christ Jesus, who though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”
Jesus could have come demanding worship as a high powered king. Instead, Jesus came as a baby to the poorest among us to reach the world. He came and took our place, our punishment. The message of Christmas is Christ came to earth to live among us and be one of us. And when He left, He gave us the mission of doing the same thing. Christmas is one time we are truly able to do that. I have not been great at this but this year, I want to strive to make a difference somehow in someone’s life who could do nothing to repay me, but to smile and say thank you.
Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost as Luke 19:10 says. I was lost but God found me. Who in my life might still be lost where I can shine a light into their lives? Light can provide hope and warmth among other things. Where you can be a glimmer of hope this season? What will your children remember of this Christmas? Will it be of opening presents and seeing family like other years? Or will it be the start of a new tradition of being the light in someone’s darkness? This challenge is to me. If it speaks to you, that is amazing.
If you already have a similar tradition on Christmas, I would love to hear about it. It might help me and my wife come up with a plan of how we can do the same thing with our little girl in raising her to know the true meaning behind Christmas.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post. Feel free to share it with others. And take time tomorrow to pray for those families directly impacted in Newtown, CT and for other families you know who might have recently lost loved ones and this will be a particularly difficult holiday season for.