Thy Kingdom Come: Faith and Action this Christmas Season
By Diane Elliot
Christmas is a magical time of year. Twinkling lights, dustings of snow, precious time with family and friends, and most importantly the opportunity to celebrate the very roots of God’s Kingdom coming to earth for the first time; Jesus’ birth.
When we think of Jesus entering the world, we rarely think of the faith it took for Him to do so. With all the knowledge of the Father Jesus chose to exercise faith and action to live among us while experiencing the full range of human emotions; joy, pain, anger, fear, and most importantly, love. With full knowledge of His ultimate demise, His love compelled him to bring God’s Kingdom to earth and change the course of history for all eternity! Which begs the question; what is my response?
The holidays can also be a painful place for some, and this past Thanksgiving weekend brought much pain to a local family. With no warning, a husband and father of six children (four still living at home) cleared out the family bank accounts, took his passport and the only working car and left his wife and children. While we don’t know why the husband left or the pain he might be experiencing, the damage he left in his wake is overwhelming. With Christmas just a few weeks away he stranded his wife and children in a state of pain, denial, and confusion. They were devastated. With little strength, the mom reached out to my neighbor, Deborah.
Deborah is a godly woman who is kind, compassionate, and has a close relationship with God. Although I’ve had a personal relationship with God since I was young, when I first met Deborah it was a little disarming. We would be in the middle of a conversation, a need would come up, and wherever we were and no matter what we were doing Deborah would start praying out loud. She didn’t close her eyes or put on a “prayerful” voice; she just started talking to God like she was talking to me. I didn’t know if I should close my eyes, join in, or just say, “Amen” which is what I did because I didn’t know what else I was supposed to do. So of course, when Deborah received a distress call from her friend she prayed. Shortly after she sent out an email to friends, made some strategic phone calls, and activated a family support system.
Now, just a few weeks later, the mortgage has been paid for the next two months, the children will have a Christmas experience full of personalized gifts. The mom is receiving financial advice and emotional support. Although there is no way to erase the pain that this family is experiencing, they have a team surrounding them giving them the hope they need to move through the darkness. Supporting her friend took an act of both faith and action on Deborah’s part: she saw the need and answered the call!
Thinking a little more globally for a moment, considering the global orphan crisis during this Christmas season is daunting and confusing. It is so big that we simply don’t know what to do or how to solve it. In the United States, while there are many at-risk child populations, our most vulnerable children are found in the homes of economically disadvantaged single moms. Being a single parent is difficult in the best of situations. Take away resources and add complicating circumstances and it is a recipe for disaster. But here is the beauty of living in this great country – resources and relationships! We can each be a “Deborah” in the life of a family in need. All we need to do is be willing to “see” the need and be willing to take action. After all, isn’t that how we, through faith and action, can help bring a little piece of God’s Kingdom to this earth this Christmas?
God can still move mountains today, but sometimes He gives us the privilege of being his hands and feet to make that happen. We pray that you and your family can bask in the wonder and beauty of the Christmas season and that through your faith and action you shine a light of hope to a friend in need.
From all of us at Hope’s Promise, have a very Merry Christmas!