Thanksgiving is three days away and you should probably know that it is probably one of my top five favorite days of the year. I say top five because I have to take into consideration the first day of summer break, the first day of school and a few other days. (I believe in honesty!)
I love watching the “30 days of Gratitude” that always shows up on social media this time of year too. People start out sentimental and thoughtful and by the time we get to Thanksgiving Day – the day that is actually about gratitude – the posts tend to be more like “I am so thankful I didn’t step in that cat barf in the dark last night!”
But let’s look ahead four days. Where will you be? Will you be out there in all that madness also known as Black Friday scrapping for the best deal on the most popular stuff and stalking the parking lot for a space that’s one space closer to the door? Better yet, before you even get there what is your budget for Christmas this year? How many items per person do you plan to buy?
Or since I believe in honesty…What’s on YOUR Christmas list? What kind of budget is needed to fill your list?
I’ve been feeling very convicted for the last two days as we have volunteered with Operation Christmas Child. You know – Operation Christmas Child – the shoeboxes? Filled with love, prayed on and sent to children all over the world to bring Christmas to those who wouldn’t have it otherwise. Read that again “who wouldn’t have it otherwise.” This is all they get. This shoebox full of things you and I picked up at the Dollar Store last Thursday.
I did a little math. A friend and I made seven shoeboxes between us and the average cost was…$21.50. Our boxes had to be tied, banded and prayed shut but still – $21.50 per box.
Look at those faces. Really look at every. single. face.
If you got $21.50 and the message of Jesus this Christmas, would your face look like that?
Guess what. Mine probably wouldn’t either. But I want it to. I want to remember these faces and I want to reflect even a shadow of that very delight on Christmas morning before even a single gift is opened or a single candy cane is snuck off the tree for breakfast.
So as we give thanks for the remaining five days of social media gratitude and as we head into the chaos that is Christmas shopping and decoration and baking and parties let us never stop asking.
What if all I got was Jesus and $20?
But as for you Bethlehem Ephrathah, too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity. Therefore He will give them up until the time when she who is in labor has borne a child. Then the remainder of His brethren will return to the sons of Israel. And He will arise and shepherd His flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord His God and they will remain, because at that time He will be great to the ends of the earth. He will be our peace.