Read Psalm 34 and Isaiah 61
As we experience the generosity of Jesus it creates an opportunity to notice others. It inspires us to ask, “Who is lacking hope? Who is lonely? Who needs physical or emotional support?” Just like Jesus noticed us, we begin to notice others.
The story of Christ’s coming is often about people who went unnoticed. Mary the mother of Jesus was meek, but noticed by God; the shepherds were unimportant, but the angels revealed God’s plan to them. Jesus constantly served others that were the outcasts, or the unimportant, such as: “the sinners”, children, women, the sick, people with disabilities, different ethnicities, and even caring for the rich Gentiles (non-Jews) who were facing the death of someone they dearly loved. What stories of Jesus do you remember?
Through his “Advent”, his arrival, Jesus invites each of us to care for others in tough moments. This is how He describes it:
“For I was hungry, and you fed Me. I was thirsty, and you gave Me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited Me into your home. I was naked, and you gave Me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for Me. I was in prison, and you visited Me…. When you did it to one of the least of my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to Me!”
It’s easy during the Christmas season to focus only on your own immediate circle of friends or family with all of the parties and events, but it’d be a bit funny if Jesus had only come to be generous with Mary, Joseph, and his brothers. Instead, He moved beyond them to care for us, even sacrificing His immediate closeness with God the Father for our sake.
Now, we’ll still give our family and friends presents and care for those closest to us, but there may be people you see in your everyday world that Jesus is asking you to care for. So ask Jesus to help you see people who’ve gone unnoticed, and watch for the people that He may be noticing. Consider loving all!
- Was there anything hard to understand in the story?
- How does it feel to remember that God Himself notices you?
- Is anyone lonely or hurting at work or school or in your neighborhood? Who do you notice? How could you serve someone without them feeling embarrassed or ashamed of their circumstances?
Make a plan of action! Write down your plan to serve someone new, pick a date, and follow through! Here are a few ideas:
Walk around your community and pray for your neighborhood ask: Who could we meet this season? Does anybody seem particularly lonely? Who could we bring baked goods to? What ways can we meet the needs we’ve seen? Any yard work that someone may be unable to do?
Contact a local homeless shelter or food bank and ask how you could serve with friends or your family, even simply once.
Ask some leaders in your church or neighborhood association if there’s anyone in particular that you could help, whether visiting the elderly, bringing food to someone lonely, or making cards for someone sick.
Ask God to help the people in your life know His love through you! He created every single person and He loves them and wants them to know Him. Ask God that He would give you greater love and compassion for all people.