The Spirit Of Giving

December 19, 2004
by Marcia Whyte

Zechariah 7:9 – Show mercy and compassion to one another. (NIV)

Hebrews 13:2 – Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. (NIV)

A few years ago, as Clerk of Session, I received an early Sunday morning phone call. The elderly, visiting minister didn't want to travel that morning, because a heavy snowfall was predicted. I tried to get help with various parts of the upcoming worship service, but soon realized that I needed to quit phoning, quit panicking, and start praying and preparing.

The service went beautifully. I don't remember my sermon, but the children's story remains etched in my heart. We all know about the arduous journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem and their visit to the inn, because this pageant is re-enacted many times each December. During one of these children's performances in a mid-western town, the innkeeper was a rather robust-looking young boy. He blustered around in pompous fashion, declaring, "No room! No room at the inn! You'll have to stay elsewhere!" Joseph explained that his wife was ready to deliver a child. As the expectant couple turned sadly to go, the young innkeeper began to look uncertain, and there was an impromptu change of script. He brightened and exclaimed, "Hey, Mary! Wait! You can have my room!"

Christmas came that night — and this innkeeper communicated the real Spirit of Christmas. God gave us His Son. What will we give Him?

Matthew 25:40 – The King will reply, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." (NIV)

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, what can we say as we are held in the heart of such love? As we struggle to understand its fullness, You tell us, "Only believe." As we believe, You give us understanding. Lord, we stand on holy ground and we believe. Help our unbelief. In Your holy name, we give thanks at the manger, and kneel at the cross. Amen.

About the author:

Marcia Whyte
Bobcaygeon, Ontario, Canada

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