Thurs., Dec. 22, 2016
Matthew 2:10 When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.
Who knew a few cookies could brighten a person’s day? It did.
On Wednesday nights, another adult and I work with the middle school kids during our Christian education program. We call it FUEL – Fill Up, Enter Life. My goal, with Jason, is to reach these squirrely, changing and unsure 6th, 7th and 8th graders.
There is no way I would ever be a middle school teacher. It takes a special person to relate, coach and teach this age group. Jason and I try to find ways to teach the gospel in meaningful and impactful ways. This is why we decided a cookie mission project was in order.
We wanted to do a Christmas mission project which focused on giving instead of receiving. Two weeks ago, the kids baked cookies. They weren’t the fancy Christmas cookies. What could we expect an hour?
This week was cookie delivery day. Jason took the boys and I took the girls. With pre-assigned stops and routes, we stopped at 12 houses in an hour. The routes were aggressive, but doable. If Jason didn’t get lost. His group had the in-town stops while my group took the stops requiring more driving.
Our first stop was especially important. The Robson’s recently lost a daughter. Her Memorial Service was on Monday. Claire was visibly overcome with emotion as we dropped off cookies and sang “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.” Unfortunately, our tight timeframe didn’t allow much wiggle room and we were onto our next stop.
Next, a 95-year-old World War II veteran showed the girls medals he earned while in the service. At our third stop, we visited another more mature couple . Our last stop was to a middle-aged woman who lost her husband last spring to cancer. They had been married less than two years.
Immediately, the girls decided they were lifting the spirits of the people we were visiting. They felt reward, pride and a sense of making a difference if only for one day.
Back at the church, the boy’s shared their experience. The kids send cards to these same people at the holidays and for their birthdays. When one woman realized this is the group who send the cards, she invited them into her house while she fetched a very generous donation for our FUEL kids. Her donation wasn’t necessary. What I pray the kids discovered is that just a few cookies, just a simple card or just a few minutes of their time can make a significant difference in another person’s life.
Sometimes, I wonder just how much these kids take away from our time together on Wednesday nights. After nights like tonight, I am quickly reminded that sometimes the best lessons are not the words I say but the actions I take. Seriously. Is it not our responsibility within the church to teach the next generations how to be the literal hands and feet of Christ? If we don’t, who will?
One of the girls suggested we do this more often to bring joy into their lives. Another girl mentioned writing about her experience in her “kindness” journal at school. All felt the joy of sharing even the smallest of gifts with someone else.
What very simple thing can you do this very day to overwhelm someone with joy? The Wise Men felt it when they found baby Jesus. May we share this joy with someone else today.
We can’t imagine the pure joy the Wise Men felt when they found the baby they had searched for a long period of time. Place upon our hearts a name of a person we can be ambassadors of joy to this day. Amen.
Wednesday’s item for Jesus’ birthday box: box of kleenex
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