Years ago, a journalist was given permission to accompany the diminutive Catholic nun called “Mother Tereasa” for a few days as she ministered to the sick and the poor in Calcutta, India. At the end of the allotted time, the writer remarked to her, “You couldn’t pay me enough money to do what you do,” to which she replied, “You couldn’t pay me enough money, either. That’s not why I do it.”
In our service to others, we always need to check our motivation. If we forget the “Why,” we will soon get discouraged and quit.
During these last few weeks, it has been Faith’s privilege to serve people near and far through events such as Thanksgiving Meal Packing, Christmas Fest, Dinner Theater, AWANA caroling to shut-ins, and the mission trip to Bruce Outreach Center in Westernport, MD. In each of these outreach events, it was a joy to see the faces of the people who were receiving the love of Christ being poured out through our church members. What was equally gratifying to see was the joy and compassion in which our members served. It was clearly evident they understood that “We love, because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19) Everything was done simply in response to what Christ has already done.
The wonder of Christmas is summed up in one word – “Immanuel.” The prophet Isaiah gave us God’s promise almost 800 years before that a child would be born who would be “God with us.” The prophesy was fulfilled that miraculous night when “Christ Jesus, who being in the very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made Himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Phil. 2:6-7)
For those of us who have ever wondered if God understands our struggles, our pain, our temptations, our fears, we only have to look to the Jesus who gave up heaven to enter our messed-up world, experience all our “stuff” and provide us a way back to God. In Christ, we see a loving Father who empathizes with our circumstance, who cries with us and who will make every sacrifice in order for us to know Him fully. We have a God who has demonstrated that He is for us.
The gift we give of serving others is an act of gratitude for the gift of love which Christ has given us. The more we understand that motivation, the more we want to give.
“From the fullness of His love we have all received one blessing after another.
From the fullness of His love we have all received one blessing after another.
For in Christ, the fullness of God dwells in the body of a man
And through Him God reconciled all things to Himself,
Whether things on earth or things in heaven.
From the fullness of His love we have all received one blessing after another.”
(song lyrics taken from Colossians 1:15-20)
Wishing you a Christ-filled Christmas.