Christmas is indeed a time of joy. It is the time to remember that God became a child and spent a life time waiting to be the sacrifice for our sin. It is a time of family and friends. It is a time of parties and gatherings of all kinds. It is also, for some, a time of great sadness and even despair.
For the people in Sandy Hook CT, this is one such Christmas. The tragedy that has hit them is devastating and even with the comfort that their children are with God will do little to ease the pain of their loss. It is my thought that many of them wish that December the 25th would not happen this year. Our hearts and our prayers should go out to them and if we find there is something we can do to help we should, by all means, do whatever we can.
Christmas is also sad for many others. Singles who have no families or maybe estranged for the one they do have. Widows and widowers, orphans and the sick, the elderly and people that are chemically depressed all have trouble with this time of year. They wonder, “Why can’t I be happy?’ “Why can’t I have someone to love and who loves me?” Sometimes people become so hopeless at this time of year that suicide is the only way out.
We need to be aware of people who are in these situations that are a part of our own lives. I have said that Jesus came to obtain our redemption and the forgiveness of our sins, but he not only came to forgive us for the sins that we have committed, but to forgive us for the deeds we didn’t do.
When Jesus tells the parable of the sheep and the goats, He says that on the last day he will separate the righteous from the unrighteous. The righteous to his right and the unrighteous to his left. He will tell the righteous that every time they saw someone in need and they gave either food or water of visited them it was as they had done it for him. And because they did these things they would be coming with him to heaven. He tells those on his left, to “Go away from him” because they did not do these things he says,” What so ever you did not do for the least of these you did not do for me.”
So the question today is what have we not been doing for those around us that are in need? I cannot answer that for you, but I am willing to bet you know the answer already. Last Saturday my Church did a “Love Day.” This is a day that the church gathers together and goes out and helps those in need. I am ashamed to admit that I did not go. I thought to myself, “They don’t need me.” I felt like I would be in the way. But that wasn’t true. They could have used me for something. I think the truth was that I was embarrassed and maybe a little afraid to go.
Another truth is that I missed the opportunity to go and do something for someone in need and I also then did not go and do something for Jesus. This was a sin and it made me, in that instant, a goat. I know Jesus forgives my sin, but I also know the next time an opportunity like that arises I must step up.
One thing I know I can do right now and so can all of you is to identify the people who may be alone of hurting this Christmas and do something for them. Buy them a small gift. If they cannot get out of the house bring them Christmas Dinner and sit with them. If they can invite them into your own home and help to ease their loneliness. Reach out to those that are in need or hurting and as you reach out to them, you reach out to Jesus.
If we do these things we hear Jesus say to us “Come thou good and faithful servant and enter in to the joy of thy master.”