Christmas, It's Not About Us

For many years, a favorite phrase we used at Living Word at this time of the year was:

Christmas - It's Not About Us.

Of course we all know that, but we could use a reminder from time to time. But you say, "Wait a minute--it IS about us. Christmas is about the love God has for us. Christmas is about the unimaginable work God did for us to save us."

You are right in what you say!

It is just that when the true spirit of Christmas comes to us, it changes our entire mindset, so that Christmas is no longer just about us. We begin to realize that Christmas is REALLY about all those who need Christ. All those who need love and service. All those who are broken and hurting. All those who do not have the resources they need to have a quality of life we all desire.

You realize that Christmas is about Christians doing for others what Jesus has done for us. We reach out in love and service, with generosity and grace, to help those in need. Of course, we do this all year long, but this is the time of the year when it weighs heavy on our hearts and inspires us to do more than normal.

Serving those in need...

This is why we work hard to give you MANY opportunities to be generous and help those in need.

Every year, Becky and I like to jump in and participate in the REACH LOCAL opportunities at Living Word. We did two things this year.

Ringing the bells for the Salvation Army Christmas donations

We have been ringing the bells for the Salvation Army Christmas donations for well over a decade. Some years it has been freezing cold. This year it was a relatively balmy 44 degrees. For the last several years, we have been at Sam's Club.

We ring the bell. My brother-in-law brings his Alpine cow bell and rings it. We wish everyone coming and going a "Merry Christmas" or a "God Bless You." Sometimes we strike up casual conversations.

It is a joy to see so many people give. Lots of parents have their children make the donation. They push the money into the kettle and we say, "Thank you so much."

The Salvation Army is a church and mission, usually working in cities and aimed at helping those in need. The local Salvation Army York organization does a terrific job in so many of its programs to help children and families.

You can learn more about the Salvation Army here.

Distributing food with Harvest of Blessing

A week earlier, several members of our LifeGroup met up with other volunteers from Living Word, as well as many more volunteers from the community, to be a part of food distribution for Harvest of Blessing. You can visit their FACEBOOK page here.

I didn't get the exact number, but there were 125-150 people who went through the grocery line. Hundreds of volunteer hours go into making this possible for families in need. In addition to food, they have a clothing store where people can receive clothing as well.

You may not be aware, but there is a growing population of Haitian immigrants to our area. Local organizations are helping this community and a Haitian church is now meeting the spiritual needs of Haitians. Many of those who used the services of Harvest of Blessing were Haitians.

There were so many sincere thank yous and their gratitude was obvious.

I know it is getting later in the season and that the later we go into the month, the more busy your schedule is, but if you can, check out the serving opportunities and join in the true SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS.

Christmas - It's Not About Us.

It IS about us doing the work of the gospel and loving and blessing those in need.

Pastor Brian Rice
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