Every day in Advent 2016 we will be sharing short reflections from authors, Christian charities and Eden team members.
“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16
I was recently asked a question: what is the greatest lesson I have ever learnt? As I sat pondering, an old Nat King Cole song came into my head. The greatest thing I have ever learnt is just to love, and be loved in return.
Straight away this brought Christmas to mind. Christmas is so much more than the material consumption which modern secular society insists on positioning it as. Christmas is about love. A love so great that it conquered death. A love so vast and wide and high and deep that it surpasses all knowledge and yet is freely given to all of us.
This love is why at Compassion we throw Christmas parties in more than 6,000 church-based projects around the world for more than 1.8 million children and their families living in poverty. It’s a time where we get to celebrate the good news of Christ and share what His birth means for each and every person.
Poverty tells children they don’t matter. Christmas is an opportunity to let children know the truth of how valuable they are, how precious they are and how much they are loved. That there is a God in Heaven who died to know them, who has plans for them, plans which include a hope and a future.
Advent is traditionally a time when we can contemplate Christ’s return and look back upon Christ’s coming all those millennia ago. As we reflect upon what the birth of Christ means to each of us, an answer which inspires me comes from Elemer, a sponsored child from Guatemala. Elemer says, “When my tutor teaches me about how Jesus was born in a humble manger and he turned out to be the world’s Saviour, it makes me feel like I can also achieve great things in life.”
My hope and prayer this Advent is for everyone to know how much they are loved as God’s children. As Antonia, another sponsored child and Elemer’s classmate, says, “We can truly be happy at Christmas, no matter what may be happening in our daily lives. We know that we are God’s children and today our homes are small and cold, but some day Heaven will be our home.”
By Roz Walsh for Compassion UK
Compassion is a child development charity and our approach is a personal one. Working with the local church, we link a child living in poverty with a sponsor. Each sponsor gives their child access to education, health checks and the care of a local church-based Compassion project. There's no quick fix to global poverty, but through our programmes, children's lives are being changed. We're impacting families, communities and entire nations.
December 5th, 2016 - Posted & Written by The Editor