This Christmas, I have had an experience that was brand new to me. Having been involved, in one way or another, with Operation Christmas Child for 10 years now, one of the things I have never done, however, is take the gathered boxes to the collection depot.
I took our 75 boxes to St. Andrew’s Islington. During the brief time I was there, I’m sure 10 other vehicles were doing the same thing. The room was full of very happy volunteers, and at least 1,000 boxes. It was most incredible. I asked the key organizer, how many had come in, and in 3 days, 5,000 boxes had been dropped off, and she is certain that they will exceed 10,000 boxes – and that’s just to our closest location. There are 16 points of collection in the GTA alone. That’s 160,000 shoeboxes from just this part of the province.
Christmas seems to just bring out the best in people, doesn’t it? We are more generous with our time, our talents and our resources. Already our White Gift baskets are filling up, and the Boarding Homes team is ready to help us shop for that ministry too. We, as a congregation, are a very generous bunch of people, and for that let me say “Thanks” for shining our light so brightly.
How awesome would it be if we, as a culture, were that generous all year, not just for the weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. What if the church lived out the generosity that God lavishes on us? What impact would we make in our neighbourhood, the city, Canada, and beyond?
On the library door, the bulletin board reads: “ See what great love the Father has lavished on us”, says the apostle John, “that we should be called children of God!” (1 John 3:1, TNIV). How awesome it is that you and I are royalty. Because our Father, the King of Kings, loved us so much to send His Only Son, you and I get to be in the Royal Family.
That’s what Christmas is all about: God coming in the flesh, to invite His family back, through the birth, life, death and resurrection of His Son. As we share that message this season, let’s shine as brightly as the star that told the world the Baby was here.
Our children will be sharing their talents during the 10:00 am service on the 21st of December. We have invited the families of The Well to join us, and the Fellowship committee has offered to host a Birthday Party for Jesus after the Service. Joan Dea is doing a great job making sure that all the kids are well rehearsed.
Please watch for a gift bag for the families being sent home on the 14th or 21st of December. It is the devotion for this Christmas. There is no “craftiness” involved, and can be done over just one evening or afternoon. If yours is not a family with children in the Sunday School, and you would like to take part in this, please speak to me, and I will see that the kit is made available to you.
Our youngest members need you. We have a marvellous opportunity to show the families at both of our services how important they are to us. Our nursery and teaching staff are always happy to have new workers join them. Please prayerfully consider your availibilty to care for, or teach, on a once-a-month basis.
This Christmas marks my second anniversary with you. Thank you for you encouragement, your prayers and your support in the work I have the privilege to do among you. Truly, I am Joyfully yours. May the peace of the One and Only Son of our Father, be with you and your family this Christmas Season. I pray that you will be able to find time to spend just with Him this year.