John answered, "Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same."
Three weeks before Christmas Eve, Pastor Wallace throws down the gauntlet.
"When you attend any of the four Christmas Eve services we offer, wear an extra coat and leave it here. We have so many in our community without a warm coat to wear during the winter months. So many in need can benefit from what you can afford to give. Will you do this? Will you wear that extra coat and leave it in the pews? Will you show mercy to those in need?"
Did we have that extra outerwear to spare? Hanging in our closets? Stored in a cedar chest? Not worn for years? Used, but not abused?
But, in these trying economic times, can we even afford to give?
Take a look at this!
Certainly, people whom we will never greet in person or physically touch will wrap one of these coats around them. Feel a comforting warmth. Know the love an anonymous soul has for them.
Know of God's great, steadfast, unfailing love through the witness of generosity.
Out of our abundance, out of our paucity, we give. Give so that others who are suffering can get a hands-up.
And, we do so with joy . . .
Joy! Knowing the love the Savior has for us.
Joy! Celebrating Jesus' birth, God coming into the world to save us.
Joy! Sharing the grand, good news with the weary world so it may rejoice.
A new and glorious morn will dawn for those who don these coats for the first time. May they wear them gratefully and be warmed through and through.
May they wear them with joy!
How will you bring joy to the world in every season of the year?
Will you pray with me?
Thank You, Father, for bringing joy into this world through Your Son, our Savior, Christ Jesus. May we celebrate in joy and give in joy, knowing that Your love is more than enough for us, and so much more than we deserve. Amen.