I saw a bumper sticker the other day that read, “Streets are for cars, not people.” It was a great reminder to me that we will never complete the vision of Wichita Falls Faith Mission until no one is living on the streets or in shelters. On any given night in the North Texas region, more than 225 men, women and children have been identified as homeless. And that’s just the ones we can find and count. Across our nation, that number is over 500,000.
We should not be OK with that. And generally speaking, as a society, I don’t think we are. Most people do care and want to do something about it. However, the complacency regarding this crisis tends to happen when we get busy and forget, or worse yet, get used to it and overlook it. What happens next is the worst of all crisis … the homeless become invisible.
It occurred to me the other day that Jesus’ family was living on the streets at the time of his birth. He had the lowliest of beginnings. Maybe this was to show us as His followers that He identifies with humility and poverty and He expects us to do the same. The King of the World’s first throne was a feeding trough. The first bows made in His direction came from shepherds. He was raised in the home of a hardworking carpenter and later by a single mom. As an adult, he traveled and ministered with a band of fishermen and tax collectors and in Luke 9:58, Jesus said this about Himself, “…the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
I don’t believe that Jesus came to this world and lived His life the way He did to elevate or raise up poverty as something to aspire to. He wasn’t saying you must be poor to be a true follower of Mine. However, we can’t deny the example He left for us. He loved everyone. He forgave freely. He died for the world.
I hope and pray that you and yours enjoy the merriest of Christmases and that it is one filled with peace and joy. At the same time, I hope that the true meaning of Christmas will fill all our hearts with love and compassion for those in need.
Think about serving someone somewhere this Christmas that is less fortunate than you. Volunteer at a shelter. Take your family and go sing carols for someone. Deliver some cookies to a shut in. Spend the money you would have on gifts and bless someone with it. Take some time to pray as a family for those whose Christmas will be spent on the streets or at a shelter. You will be amazed at how these kinds of things will bless you. It could be the best Christmas present you receive this year.
This is Steve Sparks wishing you a very Merry Christmas.