Christmas is a time of giving. We are careful to select just the right gift for our family and friends. They may or may not be expensive gifts, for giving is a means of showing our love, our thoughtfulness, and that we care for the other person.
At church we prepare food boxes for those less fortunate. We may give poinsettias, fruit baskets, and/or gift cards to widows and widowers, and shop for clothes and toys for children.
At Christmas time we want to celebrate together. We give of ourselves as we open our homes and hearts to those we love. It is only December 12th and I have already been a part of 6 Christmas parties. It was a time of food, fellowship, and sharing with one another, that may or may not have included Christmas gifts.
For Kentucky Baptists this Christmas included the giving of Christmas Backpacks filled with food, toys, clothing items, school supplies, hygiene items, and possibly a Bible or Bible story book. Partnering with Kentucky Woman’s Missionary Union and Appalachian Regional Ministry, Kentucky Baptist Churches exceeded their goal of 5000, by filling nearly 8000 backpacks. Southern Baptists as a whole filled nearly 72,000 backpacks, with an estimated 20,000 of those given to children in Kentucky. Along with each backpack, a gospel presentation was shared.
I had the privilege of participating in the distribution of these backpacks in at least three locations. What a joy to see the smiles on the children’s faces as they were given a Christmas backpack. A BIG thank you to all who filled these backpacks.
Today I felt a lot like Santa as I picked up and delivered large black plastic bags filled with stuffed animals from the Richmond LifeWay Store, that were donated by the customers that shop there. Thanks to Store Manager J.B. Hall for his partnership in eastern Kentucky ministries year-round.
Homemade quilts, throws, witnessing dolls, winter coats, shoes, scarves and gloves, are just a few of the items that came from individuals and churches to share with families at this special time of year.
Yes, Christmas is a time of giving, and I have been blessed to see the generosity of people these past few weeks. But, let’s not forget that we give because He gave. God gave us the special gift of His Son that first Christmas. Along with our giving, let’s not forget to give the message of Hope that He came to bring. Won’t you share that message this Christmas!!