When our church took time on a Sunday morning to serve breakfast at a local soup kitchen we did more than share food. Members of the church were asked to sit down with the needy families we were serving and eat with them. In that way we shared our time and ourselves with others.
This was the gift we shared. The food we prepared had been provided by the soup kitchen. What we gave was our time and effort in preparing and serving the food. Then we gave of ourselves by talking with others and sharing time together. Finally, we worshiped together – the church members and the people who had come to get breakfast.
Christmas is a time of giving and sharing. It is a time of giving gifts to one another. These gifts can be considered a sacrifice from us, and the author of Hebrews has something to say about sacrifices.
What type of sacrifice should we offer to God? How is that done? What other sacrifices are encouraged?
It seems that most people get caught up in the materialism of the holidays. We fall prey to the trend of spending excess amounts of money and rushing through crowded stores grabbing up something we think others might like or need.
But at the center of Christmas is the gift of Jesus. That gift is a gift of sacrifice, a sacrifice God made of Himself for our benefit. The true celebration of Christmas is the reflection of such an attitude of giving.
Rather than focusing on the cost and size of the gifts we give each other, we should focus on the gift we can give to God. We should be praising God this holiday, offering thanks for the love expressed through Jesus. And that praise should be continuous with us, not just something we do once a year.
But we can’t stop with praising God. We are encouraged to do good for others. We are encouraged to share with others. These are the sacrifices that please God.
As we do our shopping this year, as we consider what this person wants and that person needs, let us remember the needy people is our society. Perhaps we can give the gift of our time in helping out others. Perhaps we can share some of our comforts with those less fortunate.
These may be the gifts that please our God and fill our holiday with joy.
DAILY CHALLENGE: Can you help someone less fortunate this Christmas?