A Christmas to Remember?

Christmas Memories – Advent Devotion

December 23, 2020

“A Christmas to Remember?”

John 13:12-17

Over the last several weeks, I have shared many of my and Kathy’s Christmas memories. There have been memories from my childhood, several from visits to Disney, and my 25 years as a youth minister.

Unfortunately, this year’s Christmas is one that will be embedded in our memories for the rest of our lives. It’s been a year full of death from an ongoing Pandemic. There has been high unemployment, food lines, folks suffering from deep depression, and medical experts’ outcry to stay put and not interact with others. It would be easy to look at this as the worst Christmas ever.

Yet, we have reasons for hope and celebration. We’ve seen people recover from the deadly Covid 19 virus. New and effective vaccines are being distributed as I write this devotion. We have seen many generous acts of kindness this year, including our nation’s health care workers willing to put their lives on the line to help others. We’ve also seen churches and community outreach centers supplying food and feeding thousands of people and families in need, day after day.

So many have come together to serve others.

It’s one of those times in our lives that people need to come together to help one another. I’ve talked about this often in my devotions. For many of you, all you can do is give physical and empathetic assistance to others, which is essential. But, for others, you can help others more than you know.

Since the pandemic began, my wife, Kathy, and I have nearly stopped going to restaurants to eat. We brave Starbucks and Chick Filet drive through once a week, but that’s all.

We have found we have more money at the end of the month than ever because we’re saving so much money by eating at home. Once again, let me preface my following remarks. I’m not looking for praise or saying, “Hey, look at me and what I’m doing.” That would be so wrong. I’m saying these things to motivate others to serve their neighbor. (Everyone is our neighbor)

Each month besides our weekly grocery money, we set aside about $40 per week to purchase groceries and take them to the sharing center in Cocoa, FL. Let me tell you something, I drive over to the sharing center every week to drop off a variety of groceries that they need. And what we bring is a drop in the bucket.

The need is real! People are hurting. They need food, money to pay bills, and most of all, people need our compassion and love.

 “After washing their feet, he put on his robe again and sat down and asked, “Do you understand what I was doing? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and you are right because that’s what I am. And since I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you ought to wash each other’s feet. I have given you an example to follow. Do as I have done to you. I tell you the truth, slaves are not greater than their master. Nor is the messenger more important than the one who sends the message. Now that you know these things, God will bless you for doing them.”

When Jesus washed the disciple’s feet at the last supper, it wasn’t just because their feet were dirty.  (they probably were, this was a tradition when a visitor came to someone’s home). Jesus did it to show and teach them that no one is too big or too small to help others. We need to serve others, as Jesus did.

Jesus served us by dying on a cross. While on earth, He also did so by feeding thousands, healing many, and even bringing several people back to life. We need to serve others by helping and giving to those in need, even if it hurts a little.

I realize that you won’t see this devotion until two days before Christmas. That does not preclude you and me from helping others in need during these desperate times after Christmas and in the coming months and year.

Take some time today, as we prepare to celebrate our Savior Jesus’ birth, to evaluate what kind of world you want to live in. I pray it’s a world where like Jesus, we serve and help others.

Dear Jesus. Even in these difficult times, we know that you are with us. Please help us to rise up and emulate You, by being a servant to our neighbors in need. Amen

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