“Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God”—John 1:12-13(NIV).
It’s a wonderful time of the year for some of us. Christmas lights and décor, yuletide songs and greetings and the smells associated with this holiday invite us to care, share and rejoice in the coming of the Christ child.
For others, this season can be difficult, a reminder of loved ones lost—both physically and spiritually. It’s a reminder of need and want, doing without and praying for help. Sometimes those prayers are answered through the benevolent hearts of those who have much.
Recently, I checked out our church’s Angel Tree. On its branches were paper angels representing children whose parents are in prison or who are in foster care. On each cut-out angel shape is information about a child in need: the gender, age and child’s request are included.
Before I wrapped the clothing for this unknown child,
I prayed over each outfit.
Browsing through the angels, my first thought was “What could I afford?” One child requested an electronic tablet. Not on my budget. Another wanted a pair of Nikes. Also, not on my budget. Yet another child wanted a bicycle. Not something I could afford.
As I continued to peruse each request, I also found myself judging those children whose requests I found extravagant. My practical upbringing frowned on the frivolous. Why would these children ask for such expensive gifts? Then, I was convicted. It wasn’t my place to judge. Although I might not be able to afford some of the things requested, there were others in our congregation who have the means to answer a child’s wish for such a gift.
I finally selected an infant male child whose foster parents requested clothing. My practical side won. After arriving home with the angel request, I began to ponder this infant’s needs. What if I asked someone to chip in to help me purchase even more outfits for this baby? Immediately, my sister came to mind. She was happy to help.
I was excited about shopping for baby clothes because my grandchildren are past that stage. I also love getting a bargain so I chose to shop at a local department store where I could use several coupons to save and buy more for my dollar. By the time I made it to the cash register to check out, I’d managed to select four complete outfits for my Christmas Tree Angel.
Before I wrapped the clothing for this unknown child, I prayed over each outfit. I would never meet him, but my prayers were for his well-being and a loving Christian family to adopt him.
If you’ve received Christ as your Savior, you’ve been adopted into His family. John 1:12-13 tells us so. “Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.”