Editors note: For the month of December, our theme is “The Gift of Jesus” and our focus verses are found in Luke 2:10-14. “but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord- has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger. Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others – the armies of heaven – praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
One of my favorite books to read to my children during the month of December is The Giving Manger. It’s about a dad who carves a wooden figure for his kids each year and this year he carved a manger. The kids are disappointed because they thought they would be receiving something greater. The dad goes on to tell them they will receive more gifts than before by serving one another. Each time they serve someone, they put a piece of straw in the manger. At the end of the book, the dad put a wood carving of baby Jesus in the manger.
This time of year it is so easy to get caught up in my to do list. I get overwhelmed with all of my children’s activities, the traditions I want to continue in my home, and all of the family gatherings. What I love most about the book is how it reminds me that the best gift I can give is to serve someone else. Matthew 25:40 says, “And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” When we are serving others, we are serving Jesus.
The humble birth of Jesus reminds me that how I serve does not have to be extravagant, but it’s the little things that can be most important. Things like doing a chore for another in my home, serving coffee to a friend, running an errand for a friend or family member, or just being a good listener.
This next part is for all of my mama friends out there. I’m in a new season myself this Christmas and I am a stay at home mom for the first time. The repetitiveness of chores can be draining at times and I tend to get frustrated with it. Today I had a friend over to my home for coffee and I was reminded that I do the chores in order to serve others. My home isn’t spotless by any means, but today it was a safe space for a friend to bring her one year old and enjoy some social time. To my working mama friends, I would encourage you to save energy to be a servant in your home. I know that I often gave too much of myself to my job and my family would get the little scraps I had left. I’m not saying do your job poorly, but I am saying it’s okay to say no so that you can say yes to something more life giving.
When we are serving others, whether it be big or small, we are serving Jesus. The heart of Jesus is shown to others when we serve them. I hope you have a Merry Christmas!
We would like to thank Chelsea Criswell for writing this blog post.