Saturday, December 6, 2008
The Least of These
In light of the Advent Conspiracy and seeking to be more intentional in our giving this year, Mike and I have talked, prayed and begun the journey of seeking to give to the least of these.
Mike has always looked to the verse in James 1:27 to look after widows and orphans as a guiding principle of where to give. When I first met Mike I was so moved that he had built a relationship with a German widow who was a neighbor of his parents. He would sit and chat with her for hours (mainly just listening), mow her lawn, send her mail, pray for and with her. I asked him why he did this and he said that God had shown him the verse in James and he knew that's what he was called to do. We continued that wonderful relationship with Hedi for years until she passed away.
With many years of young children and many moves, we have gotten away from the simplicity of serving the least of these. Life gets hard and busy and self-focused and it's easy to just focus on our own problems and not look to the needs of those outside the home. For seasons of time this is certainly healthy...making sure that you as a family are healthy and whole... but then you just know when the Spirit is whispering that it's time to look outside. It's time to find Jesus in unexpected places and to live as He did among the poor and lonely.
This Christmas season has beckoned to us to think intentionally about giving. Not just theoretically or just talking about it because it sounds good. But actually doing something. So to begin our giving adventure to the least of these, we hopped onto Compassion International's website two days ago and chose a child to sponsor. A precious 9 year old girl from Bangladesh named Keya. This has been something we have always wanted to do but had no extra money to spare. Now we do and now we will love on Keya.
I have also decided to begin to serve with Meals on Wheels for one day a week. It only takes 1-1/2 hours a week to drive a route to deliver meals to elderly ones at home. And what a wonderful way to model to my children serving as a lifestyle instead of only a once-a-year service project. I hope to build relationships with these older ones and to remind them that Jesus is with them and loves them. And I can only imagine the wonderful lessons about life and love that they could teach me.
So as you put the finishing touches on your gift-giving, add someone else...someone who is lonely or forgotten or overlooked or without. Seek to make practical application to loving the least of these. Because according to Matthew 25:40, to give to the least of these is to give to Jesus.
And I can think of no better birthday present for Jesus than that! :)
photo by maxkalehoff