Saturday, 3 November 2007

Operation Christmas Child

Christmas is drawing closer and closer. I wonder how many of us have already thought about what presents we would be giving or getting this year. It's certainly exciting to think about the joys of Christmas and about sharing God's love with others during that time. But there are many children in the world who live in poverty and are not expecting to receive any presents at all. They may not even have heard about Christmas and the greatest gift of all - Jesus Christ.

Every year, a Christian ministry called Samaritan's Purse organises what is known as "Operation Christmas Child". Millions of shoeboxes are filled with toys and clothing and hygiene articles and delivered personally to poor children all over the world for whom this shoebox will most likely be the only present they receive at Chistmas. These children also hear about the very first Christmas, when Jesus came to this earth to bring joy and peace and to show men the way to God.

Think about it - we have been blessed with so much. Maybe we should be willing to give some of what we have to people who are in need. Jesus said: "It is more blessed to give than to receive." (Acts 20:35) The words of Jesus are true. It is a real blessing and a joy to give needy people.

So I invite you to have a part in this blessing and make this your best Christmas ever, knowing that you have made a difference in this world. One of the ways you can do that is by taking part in Operation Christmas Child. For more information on how to get involved in this ministry, see the following website that corresponds to the country you live in:

USA: http://www.samaritanspurse.org/OCC.asp?MPGID=1
Canada: http://www.samaritanspurse.ca/occ/
UK: http://www.samaritanspurse.uk.com/occ/index.asp
Ireland: http://www.samaritanspurse.ie/WhatWeDo/OCC/index.php
Germany: http://www.geschenke-der-hoffnung.org/weihnachten-im-schuhkarton/

But hurry up, the shoeboxes need to be packed and brought to the collection points soon, so that they arrive in time for Christmas!

When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.

Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

-Matthew 25:31-40

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