— Max Lucado — /Outlive Your Life/
— Max Lucado — /Outlive Your Life/
no expression of my love for my wife or kids could ever truly reflect the reality of that love. saying the words, serving them, hugging them, providing for them, giving gifts, sticking with them no matter what, even facing danger in their stead - all these things fail to accurately represent the depth and intensity of my feelings and will toward them.
that said, I am a flawed, very imperfect and limited human being: how much more God’s love for us.
”As long as there is one man who should be free, as long as slums and ghettos exist, as long as any person goes to bed hungry at night, as long as the color of a man’s skin is his prison, there must be a divine discontent. We Christians have no right to be content until the principles of Christ are applied to all men.”
- Billy Graham
One of the hardest things for me to process regarding the Christmas season is that we can exist in a world where thousands are stressed looking for gifts for people who don’t need them; and exist in a world where thousands are without food and basic necessities, many of them, in our own communities.
Last weekend, I went to the mall—which I’m becoming to despise more and more as of lately, but that’s for another post. I went with two of my friends, let’s call them Matt and Mary, (since there are people who read this blog that I know in real life). Matt and Mary love Jesus and are siblings and I was with them while they were getting some Christmas shopping done for their dad. While looking at Ralph Lauren polos, Mary told me that it’s difficult to shop for their dad, and that he literally has over 100 polos but they don’t know what else he would like. A few emotions went in me as I thought about the words of Jesus, early church fathers, Momma T, and more contemporary ragamuffins. I thought of the words of Basal the great who said,
“When someone steals a persons clothes, we call them a thief. Should we not give the same name to the one who could clothe the naked, and doesn’t? The bread in your cupboard belongs to the hungry, the coat hanging unused in your closet belongs to those who need it, the shoes rotting in your closet belongs to those who have no shoes, and the money which you’ve hoard up belongs to the poor.”
How could we, I’m speaking of the American Western church as well as myself, have come so far from the teachings of Jesus?
As we head into this Christmas season friends, remember our brothers and sisters that are poor and in need, and act*.
I’ll leave you with the words of my friend Brandt,
“Its strange that death by starvation and ‘food coma’s’ exist in the same world. Its even stranger that we celebrate the birth of our homeless, refugee Messiah by spending tons of money purchasing things for people who already have far more than they need. I long for the Kingdom to come. A time when “The valleys will be filled and the mountains and hills made level. The curves will be straightened, and the rough places made smooth.” Captivate our spirit, God. Forgive us, Father, for we know not what we do.”
*perfect opportunity: Today (December 15th), is the last day you can purchase an “Aftercare Package” for a survivor of Sex Trafficking through International Justice Mission for $30. The Aftercare Packages include items like: clothing; toiletries and hair accessories; bedding; bag, stationary and gum; and stuffed animal, for younger survivors. Here are the details, Aftercare Package.