Many Christians know that Christmas is the season for commemorating Jesus’ birthday. But how many Christians give a gift to him at Christmas? Few forget to give presents to those they love, but what about giving to the one whose birthday we are celebrating? Or should I say, how many Christians know how to give Jesus a gift at this point in history? How could we make him feel pleased with the way we celebrate his coming to earth?
I believe the answer to these questions is found in the Gospel of Matthew in the last portion of Chapter 25. Notice this is not a parable but a time set in the future when all nations will be gathered before the throne of the Son of Man (which is Jesus). I believe the focal point of this passage is found in verse 40 when King Jesus says these startling words: “…I’m telling the solemn truth: Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.”
Did you get it? He is telling us if we feed the hungry, provide water for the thirsty, shelter for the homeless, clothes for the shivering—-if we visit the sick and those in prison WE ARE DOING IT TO HIM. There you have it! It’s his word, not mine! So now you know how to do something for Jesus right now on this planet in the year 2017.
So, if you really want to celebrate Jesus’ birthday this year, instead of spending your money on people who have more than they have storage for, spend your money on people who have nothing. For example, take a gift to an inmate. Visit a shut in. Invite a homeless person for Christmas dinner. Give warm clothes to street people. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Help a foreign mission team dig a well in an area with contaminated water. The opportunities are endless here in America and even more around the world.
You might say, “What if someone takes advantage of me?” My answer to that is, “If you are doing it for Jesus, it won’t matter; he’ll still give you credit for doing it to him.” You might say, “But we’ve always given everybody gifts whether they needed them or not”. My answer would be, “Tell them this year you are going to give Jesus a birthday present because it is his celebration”. You may protest by saying, “But so-and-so gave me an expensive gift last year. I have to give them something this year”. My advice would be, “We should all learn to give with no strings attached”.
So, if you haven’t already, do Christmas different this year. Give to those who have nothing to give you. Give Jesus a Christmas/birthday present this year. He is depending on you, and he deserves it.