Christmas time is a season of giving and thinking of others. Most importantly it’s a celebration of God’s free gift to us in Jesus. As Christians we celebrate Jesus’s birth on Christmas day.
We should certainly have generous hearts throughout the year, but Christmas is always a reminder to me that there are many people and families in need. This especially includes the homeless.
What Jesus Says about Giving to People in Need
We can read in the book of Matthew God’s expectations for helping those in need:
When I was hungry, you gave me something to eat, and when I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink. When I was a stranger, you welcomed me, and when I was naked, you gave me clothes to wear. When I was sick, you took care of me, and when I was in jail, you visited me. (Matthew 25:34-36)
God expects us to use our resources to help people who are in need. Jesus goes on to say in Matthew 34:45 that “whenever you failed to help any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do it for me.”
Now I’ll be honest in saying that serving and helping the homeless or those in need has not always been a top priority for me, but it’s an area of giving that is heavy on my heart and I want to do more.
Christmas Gifts for the Homeless Party
This year we were reminded of the importance of having a giving and open heart to those in need by our daughter.
Last year my wife and daughter attended a special neighborhood holiday party where each family brought a toy to be donated to a local homeless shelter. This year my daughter asked if we could host our own party.
So yesterday we hosted a party at our house where kids and parents each brought a toy to be donated. It provided a great opportunity to share the giving spirit with our friends and hopefully provide a moment where each parent could explain the importance of giving to their child.
The result was a large overflowing box of toys we’ll be taking to a local Dallas homeless shelter next weekend. This is a special homeless shelter called Dallas Life where homeless people are able to get help and a new start and also learn the gospel of Jesus.
Our hope and prayer is that the children in the shelter will not only have a new toy to play with this Christmas, but will be able to come to know and experience the love Jesus has for them.
You can give too. You don’t have to host a party, but you can visit a local homeless shelter and volunteer for a few hours, donate clothes, toys or other items they shelter needs. Schedule a time where your small group, family or friends can serve together. Or, give a small donation.