There is so much to love about the Christmas season. It was pop singer Andy Williams who recorded the song written by Edward Pola and George Wyle, "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year." I truly believe the title of that popular Christmas melody is so true.
The Christmas season is wonderful for many reasons. Some reasons include family gatherings, exchanging of gifts, warm meals, hot chocolate, Christmas carols and Christmas decorations. Yet there is another reason that should be at the forefront of the mind of every believer, and that is, Christmas is a season of giving and telling others about Jesus.
I was reminded of this recently while reading a sermon manuscript written by W. Hershel Ford entitled, "I'm Dreaming of a Right Christmas." I was reading from his book Simple Sermons for Special Days and Occasions. In his sermon, he states a right Christmas includes making room for Jesus, worship, the grace of giving and telling others about the Lord.
There is a story in Ford's sermon that helps illustrate what I would like to communicate to you about this most wonderful time of year. It is a story about a Chicago businessman.
According to the story, it was a cold, blustery day in Chicago. It was snowing, sleeting and raining simultaneously. The wind was described as whipping fiercely. The businessman had rolled up his collar and was running to his car. However, before he could reach his car, he saw a 10-year-old boy in the doorway of a local store. The boy looked nearly frozen, shivering in the cold. The businessman could see that this young lad had been crying, so he stopped to ask this young fellow what was troubling him.
The little boy's response was, "Nothing, mister, I am all right." But the man could see that he was not, so he spoke tenderly to the young man and, as a result, the boy told him his story.
He said, "My father sent me for some groceries. He gave me money with which to buy them, but my hand was so cold the money slipped out of my hand and I lost it. I am afraid to go home."
The businessman quickly responded, "Go on home — your father will understand."
But the lad shook his head and said, "You do not know my dad, he will be drunk, and he will almost kill me. I'll have to wait until he goes to bed or leaves home."
The businessman told the boy that he would help him, so he went into the store with him and bought the groceries and paid for them. The boy thanked him sincerely and then, in a moment of great emotion, he set the groceries down on the counter and put his arms around the man's waist. Choking up a bit, the boy said, "I wish you were my daddy."
I really want you to see what happened next. That same businessman walked around four blocks in the rain, sleet and snow to see if he could find another little boy who had lost his money. Why? Because of the joy of giving at Christmas time! It was truly, for him, the most wonderful time of the year.
Luke writes in the book of Acts, "Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive'" (Acts 20:35b, NASB 2020).
The following list will be my way of giving and telling others about the Lord this Christmas, perhaps my list will help you to develop one of your own:
• I will joyfully give my tithes to the local church.
• I will participate in the annual Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.
• I will give to Operation Christmas Child through Samaritan's Purse.
• I will participate in the backpack ministry.
• I will distribute 100 gospel tracts during the Christmas season.
• I will preach the gospel at every opportunity.
• I will share my love, time and gifts with my family.
• I will say "Merry Christmas" to everyone that I meet.
I will remember the words of Jesus, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:23b, NASB 2020).
After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year! Merry Christmas everybody!
Paul Badgett is regional consultant for the east region of the Kentucky Baptist Convention.