Advent Day 8: Giving to Others

Read: Matthew 25:31-46

How aware are you of the needs of those around you? On any given day it could be the more obvious needs that we usually try to ignore like the guy on the street with a sign asking for food or money. Or the woman pushing a shopping cart with all her possessions in it. But there are also the more subtle ones that are easy for us to miss not because we are trying to ignore them, but rather because we are too busy doing our own thing to actually notice. The woman who is struggling with two kids and grocery bags trying to get to her car. The person sitting in the corner of a coffee shop quietly sobbing over news he just got on his cell phone. The person who has come by your office several times bothering you with simple questions that don’t make sense who really wants to talk about some issues in his life but doesn’t know how to break the ice to start the conversation.

There are people all around us who need our care. As Jesus said in Matthew there are people who are thirsty and need a cup of water, hungry and need food, or cold and need clothing. He tells us that when we take care of these needs that people have and give to others it is as if we are doing it to him. How do we get to the place where we see others as Jesus does? Or even see Jesus in others so we pay attention and respond to them as we would to him? There is such a tendency to be so busy doing good things that we don’t even see the most important things in this world. I want to have the eyes of Christ this Christmas and beyond to see the needs around me and respond to them as he would if he were me. If the God of the universe could give our world the gift of his presence as a baby and ultimately his death as a man, the least I can do as an act of gratitude and worship to him is to serve those he came to die for.

Lord, help me to see others with your eyes. Make me aware of the needs around me and give me the means to respond to those needs. Amen.
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