The holiday season seems to be the busiest time of the year. I don’t think we intend for it to be that way, but it happens. We want so desperately for this time to be focused on quality time with our loved ones, but then in the blink of an eye, it’s over. Often we don’t know where the time went or if it was meaningful. I get caught up in the hustle and bustle just as much as the next person, but my heart has been wanting and needing a different pace, a different way.
I realized that only I can make that decision. I get to choose whether or not this season is hurried and frantic or if it’s slow and full of wonder. Where do we start this process of going against the societal norms and leaning into a kingdom mindset?
This Christmas season is solely based on one thing alone — Jesus. We celebrate His birth and what that meant for the entire world. Why did He come? Why did He come in the most vulnerable state of a baby? Why does it matter?
It matters because His birth set in motion God’s plan for salvation and redemption for mankind. That salvation covers every area of our lives — spiritual, physical, emotional, financial, and mental. Jesus freely came and lived and died for our freedom.
In order to reflect on this truth, we need to slow down. We need to quiet our minds and souls and hearts in order to hear His still small voice. Once we are in the secret place pondering all that His birth and life means for us and the world, it will affect how we walk out this Christmas season and our everyday lives.
I look around our country and see how blessed we truly are even when I don’t feel that I am. I get preoccupied with my needs and trials and pain. I don’t even take the opportunity to look around at those who have gone through loss or suffering that I can’t even imagine. Sometimes I think that we have become apathetic to the hurts of others. Maybe we can’t imagine how we can begin to help someone with overwhelming need.
And the King will answer them, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least
of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Matthew 25:40 (ESV)
This verse is simple and yet so profound. Jesus never says that we have to take one specific action in order to help someone. He says “whatever you did.” Whatever literally means whatever. In this whole section, Jesus was differentiating between the sheep and the goats, those in Christ and those who are not. Those in Christ fed and clothed and visited the prisoner and cared for the sick. They did so because they had hearts to please God. Jesus told them that whatever was done for them was done for Him.
Since everyone is created in the image of the Father, everyone we meet and serve carries that image. The needs around us are great, but if we all do “whatever,” so many people would be blessed and encouraged and cared for. God would be glorified, and His Kingdom would advance.
The least of these are all around us, near and far. Let us notice their need, their hurt, their reflection of Christ’s image. Let us slow down enough in order to hear how the Lord wants to partner with us to serve them and show His love and mercy.
Every Thanksgiving my church does an outreach where we give away a feast to families in need. At Christmas we throw huge Christmas parties with an abundance of gifts for single moms and kids in foster care. Recently, a couple of friends suggested carrying blankets and care packages in our cars to give away to the homeless. And there is always the welcomed invite extended to someone in your community that you know will be alone for the holidays. Super simple, right?
Our whatevers don’t need to be fancy or elaborate. They just need to be done with a heart to serve people with the love of Christ.
Take some time to ask the Lord how you and your family can serve the least of these this Christmas season. I’d love for you to share your ideas in the comments!
Jesus' birth set in motion God's plan for salvation and redemption for mankind. -@karina268: Click To Tweet