My hubby and I did a little Christmas shopping yesterday. As we approached the entrance to one of the stores we visited, there was a bell ringer from the Salvation Army. My hubby asked me if I had a dollar. I quickly scrounged for one. I rarely carry cash these days. My teens make sure of it, but I found a dollar and happily gave it to the man who wished me a Merry Christmas and thanked me for my blessing.
His words took hold in my heart and I thought about what he said for the remainder of the afternoon. It was just a dollar, but it was a blessing to someone who was in need. I could have given more. I probably should have given more, but it was what I had at the moment and for that gentleman ringing the bell, it was enough.
My pastor pointed out in a sermon a few weeks back, that people tend to be more generous during the holidays. He preached from Mark, Chapter 10, about the blind beggar who yelled for Jesus because he heard he was nearby. The Jews were getting ready to celebrate Passover and apparently they were more generous to those who were less fortunate when they neared Passover.
The beggar, Bartimaeus, got way more than extra coins that day. Although the crowds tried to shush him, he continued to call out and Jesus healed him. Jesus said, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Mark 10:52a The rest of the verse says that he could instantly see and he followed Jesus down the road.
What is it that makes us more generous and charitable during Christmas? Is it because deep in our hearts we want to share some of the many gifts that God has given us? Perhaps there’s something deeper. Perhaps it has to do with the baby who was a gift for all of mankind. Perhaps deep in our DNA, we recognize that gift and feel a deeper need to share it during the Christmas season.
But, maybe we should ask ourselves if we need to do a better job at reaching out to help others, the other eleven months of the year. The gift of Christ isn’t meant to be seasonal. It’s meant to be everyday. People who don’t have food to eat or clothes to wear are just as needy in February as they were in December. Right?
How can Christians be a blessing to others year round? How can we make a daily difference? Perhaps these are the questions we should ponder during Advent as we ready our hearts to celebrate the greatest gift ever given. How can we share that gift with others?
Because sharing our faith with those who are blind is the gift that never ends. Keep in mind, when Jesus gave Bartimaeus his sight, Bartimaeus followed Jesus down the road.
Isn’t that what all Christians are striving to do? How can we be 365 days a year Christians, instead of holiday Christians? I’m going to spend some time praying about that. Maybe you would like to join me.
Have an awesome day!