Yes I know, Christmas is long gone and everyone’s Christmas trees are packed away (I hope!). In saying that, I did buy a Christmas Decoration today, and come to think of it last week as well! Too early to be talking about Christmas 2015?! But actually it is Christmas 2014 that I want to revisit. You see last year a lovely couple in our church introduced the “Christmas Bucket”. An opportunity to take a plain bucket and transform into a Christmas bucket, filled with gifts for a family in need who otherwise would be having a very underwhelming Christmas.
On Sunday, the couple shared the photos of happy families who received the buckets and read a couple of letters of gracious thanks. I was completely undone by one letter, with its heartfelt gratitude that spoke of the “kindness in abundance that helps save a mothers’ honour that helps this mother deliver to her babies as she dreams she could!! I thank you all …with flowing tears, droplets of realised love down my cheeks, a smile to my heart…a smile for my darling children….a feeling of being cared over, being treated and gifted such a magical box!!”
Yes filling the bucket with gifts was a sacrifice. It took time, effort, consideration and money. And for many who gave a bucket, it stretched a budget that was already stretched. But in as much as we poured out, we received back in abundance. We received gratitude, love and the sense that we had partnered with God to be His hands and to bless. I sat there listening to the gracious and humbling words, and thought I should have done more, given more, sacrificed more.
My heart was full.
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’(Matthew 25:35-40)