Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Proverbs 22:6 – Teach a child how he should live, and he will remember it all his life. (GNB)

As a young girl, I was always an "ideas" person. "Ideas" came naturally to me, so it didn't take much imagination at Christmas to suggest to school friends that we should gather together as a group to go carolling. The weather was always cold on those December evenings, and although we didn't sound perfect, it didn't seem to matter. We walked from house to house singing our favourite carols, and "Silent Night" was the most popular with the group.

There were certain benefits to carolling, since people were friendly, and usually gave us food or money. We had no problem deciding what to do with either. Of course, we consumed the food between performances. We could have taken the money and spent it on ourselves, but we knew what we should do instead. Since we wanted to help those less fortunate than we were to celebrate Christmas, we turned the money over to the Salvation Army. It seems to me that, as children, we learned that we should help others. Our parents, teachers, Sunday School teachers, and Girl Guide leaders all played a part in teaching us this important gospel lesson.

I have tried to teach our children, by word and example, that it is important to show kindness to others who are less fortunate than we are. Advent is one such teaching time, but there are ample opportunities throughout the year for adults to lead by example. As Christians, it is our hope that today's children will follow our example as they grow up.

Mark 12:29-31 – Jesus replied, "The most important [commandment] is this: 'Listen, Israel! The Lord our God is the only Lord. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' The second most important commandment is this: 'Love your neighbour as you love yourself.' There is no other commandment more important than these two." (GNB)

Prayer: Gracious God, help us to share what we have with others, not only at Christmas, but also all year long. Remind us to teach all children in our care to share what they have with others. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

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Mary Jane Hanson <>
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

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