My mother was fond of the old nursery rhyme and American Christmas carol, “Christmas is Coming.” She would say or sing almost every day of the Christmas season, “Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat. Please do put a penny in the old man’s hat. If you haven’t got a penny, a ha’penny will do. If you haven’t got a ha’penny, then God bless you!
As I listened to her joyful refrain I could not help but realize that Christmas was a very special time of year. I also understood that Christmas comes to all types of people including those who have plenty and those who have little…or nothing at all.
The beloved Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol” illustrates the economic unevenness of England’s society in Victorian times with Bob Cratchit’s family so happy although lacking of material things but abundant with love, faith, and family. While Scrooge has all the money he will ever need but is unhappy and cold and destitute of even a smidgen of happiness and blind to the meaning of Christmas.
This morning our church dedicated its’ annual offering of toys for those children who could be likened to the Cratchit family of old…who without the loving gifts of others would not have even a spare humble Christmas.
A former classmate of mine, along with one of his colleagues, has for the last several years collected coats for children whose parents do not have the money to buy them one.
As I was listening to the radio the other day I heard an interview with a pastor in Indianapolis, Indiana who’s church primary mission was to feed the homeless. They had commissioned a controversial statue of Jesus laying on a bench outside their church with a cover over some of his body…but leaving his feet bare…with the nail holes in them. The pastor said that he can see the work of art from his office window and that many times passers by think it is a actual homeless person until they see the feet…and suddenly realize it is a depiction of Jesus.
“Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?” Matthew 25:44 KJV