The Weekly Dream: The Forgotten
Question of the Week: What Do You Give the Guy Who Has Everything?
“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37″Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40″The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'”
The Saga Continues. Christmas is only four days away. And as always, I have waited until the last minute to get my shopping done Whether it is poor planning or because I am an adrenaline junkie, I never could start shopping in November.
However, when I do get started, I inevitably run into the problem of getting gifts for my family members who have everything. Like my grandmother and grandfather, they get gifts from everyone, so you never know what to get them. Or my godfather, who just has everything. So, Christmas in my family is really informal, more of a means to an end.
But when I was at Barnes and Nobles yesterday, the cashier asked me if I wanted to donate a book to foster children this season. The request caught me off guard, but I automatically made the donation. Yet, it got me to thinking about the forgotten at Christmas.
The Forgotten. Those who are marginalized in a society of excess. Those who cannot run up credit card debt for consumer goods. The homeless, the poor, the orphaned, the mentally retarded, the prisoner. Those people who make you uncomfortable by their very presence. Where is their Christmas? Are they on your Christmas list?
I could talk about these groups forever, but there is someone I bet you forgot this Christmas, I know I did. The Birthday Boy Himself, The Reason for the Season, Jesus Christ. I looked down at my list and next to my grandmother, aunts, uncles, Jesus was nowhere on the list. How can you not get Jesus a gift on his own birthday?
Immediately I felt terrible, especially after I thought about how much He gave me this year and always. Then I tried to remember had Jesus ever been on my Christmas list? And sadly, I could not remember. Now I knew how Peter felt when the cock crowed thrice.
What Do You Get The Guy Who Has Everything
Jesus also was forgotten at His birth. Forced to be born in a barn because there was no room for Him. He was with the sheep and the shepherds. Talk about a demotion. However, He was obedient to the will of the Father and squeezed Himself into a human body. So I figured, perhaps we can give him obedience.
Some of us are “Indian Givers” when it comes to God. We will start down the path and then get lax. I know I am guilty of it. I will start being obedient in something, and then start doing my own thing. So, Jesus still ends up without a gift for Christmas. This is not right. Once we give something, we must keep giving it. You do not give love once, you have to keep giving it. Gifts from the heart are repeat transactions.
Now obedience is far different than love. We love our parents, but growing up, we were not always obedient to them. But obedience has more to do with awe, respect and appreciation. It becomes sincere when we add love to the equation. And when we are obedient, Jesus gave us His wish list. He said, love the Lord with your all and then love your neighbor as yourself. If you cannot love your brother or sister you can see, then how can you truly love God who you cannot see?
This can be a challenge. Because sometimes, people can be difficult to deal with. But we must strive to see the God within them. So, how can we remember the Forgotten and make sure the Christ stays in Christmas? See the Christ within yourself and within others and act accordingly. Be more obedient, which can be a challenge, and treat even those who are disadvantaged with the respect and consideration God did when He made them.
It takes effort to remember to see the God in people, because as humans, we look at the outward appearance. But there are a lot of people who are alone, depressed, insecure, and unhappy in a season that should be full of joy. In all the hustle and bustle, invite someone who may be alone to sit at your table, get a child a gift that they can really use or an elderly person who could use a visit. I am not saying try to save the world and end world poverty, but you know someone who needs something and it would not cost you too much to help them out. Yet, that is only the beginning of a life of obedience and service. Let’s not be “Indian Givers” with God and each other. Give the gift that keeps on giving-YOU.
Happy Birthday Jesus. The Card is in the mail ;).