For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
As we take time to celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, let us also be thankful for the many blessings we have received.
Yes, our earthly government seems bent on making life miserable for us: socialized health insurance that is twice as much money and will deliver dubious benefits; invasions of our privacy as we travel; taxes skyrocketing; government subsidized banksters getting richer and richer while the average person cannot get a mortgage; women being victimized whether through human trafficking or being killed in the womb; and so much more. One might ask, “What is there to be thankful for?”
And yet, believe it or not, we still live in one of the wealthiest and freest countries in the world. We are still benefitting from the Christian foundation that our country has. No other country in the world was specifically begun with a Christian base. Our forefathers and foremothers wanted America to be a “City on a Hill and a Light Shining in the Darkness”. Our country was that for many years. It has fallen a great way down, but there is still hope.
Whether the government officials will admit it or not, Christ is still on His throne. He is still our “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” As we celebrate His birth, His first appearance, we also long for His Second Coming.
In the meantime, we are thankful for what we have. This Christmas we can follow in Christ’s footsteps in bringing joy and peace to others. As you look around you at all of your material blessings, think about others who have few or none. What better way to celebrate the birth of the One Who came to bring peace and justice to the world than to share what we have with others.
There really isn’t any more wonderful feeling in the world than witnessing the joy of someone who has been given something unexpected. Isn’t that why we enjoy giving so much?
If you have run out of ideas for giving to the poor, here are some for you:
1. Pray for those who are being persecuted in other countries. There are Christians in other countries who must celebrate the birth of the Savior in secret, if they are even able to get together to worship Him at all.
In Nigeria for example, the Christians have been persecuted by the Islamic government. Muslims are allowed to kill Christians with very little repercussions. Followers of Islam can destroy churches, even burning them down with the Christians inside of them, without fear of arrest. The Christians practice their non-violent faith and do not retaliate. Because of this many have been killed and many have fled to other countries as refugees.
In Nigeria, where many Christian parents have been killed, a Christian organization has started an orphanage to take care of the children. It is called “The Tabitha Project” and you can donate to it if you wish. Groups such as Jubilee Campaign are working with the refugees. To find out more go to: http://www.jublieecampaign.org.
2. Many cities have some time of Gospel Mission organization. Union Gospel Mission exists in many large cities, including Salem, Oregon for example. If you wish to share the love of Christ in a more personal way you can get involved with such a mission. The rescued men and women need help in the form of prayers, meals, and friendship. You can show the love of Christ, Who “being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:5-8 Our Savior mingled with the poor and the downtrodden. This Christmas you have an opportunity to do the same.
3. Every community has a food bank. As you are shopping for your own treats pick up some extra for those who are struggling just to pay their bills.
There are so many ways to show our thanks at this time. We are so thankful to God for sending His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The best way to prove how thankful we are is to share with others.
Have a blessed Christmas!