During the Advent season we often reflect on the many gifts that we have been given. We celebrate all of the toys, clothing, and relationships we have with our friends and family. We also rejoice in the story of Jesus coming to earth to restore the relationship between God and man. The Christmas message does indeed cause us to rejoice; however, it also calls us to action.
In the beginning of his letter, the ancient church leader James taught us what a relationship with Jesus Christ produces. He said, "Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world." (James 1:27 ESV) James is giving us a litmus test. He is trying to teach us, "If you have truly experienced a relationship with Jesus Christ, then you will be a person who is eager to give to the poor and needy." Therefore, here is the question: does the Christmas message make you a generous person?
If you understand Christmas as God giving you the opportunity to serve him in exchange for blessing, then you will not be moved to action. You will see all of the "blessings" which God gives you as what is due to you for your service. They will be your divine paycheck. You will not be generous with your time, money, possessions, or energy because you will see them as your bounty to hoard. However, if you understand Christmas as God giving up everything for you then you will feel a desire for radical generosity. If you see Jesus giving up his riches, even his very life on the cross for you, then you will be moved to give up anything. Have you experienced the Christmas message?
This Advent season at Redeemer City Church we have the opportunity to meet the needs of family in our neighborhood. Jon and Lauren Bostic visited Ms. Miller and her grandson, Avaunt, this past Sunday to find out their needs. Here is Lauren's report:
We will be collecting items for Ms. Miller and Avaunt this Sunday, the 14th, and next Sunday, the 21st. Let me encourage you to get involved! If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Lauren Bostic at (337) 230-2141.