Sharing the Good News: Is it Worth It?

Sharing the Good News:  Is it Worth It?

Just when you think you’re blessing others, you get blessed on yourself. That’s what happened to me when my Neighborhood Bible Study got together in early December to serve at the Operation Christmas Child processing center in Atlanta. If you’re not familiar with Operation Christmas Child, they’re the ones who collect the shoeboxes at Christmastime. Since 1993, they have shared God’s love through the power of simple shoebox gifts with more than 100 million children in 130+ countries. Several moms from my Bible study and some of our kids met to inspect and prepare boxes for shipping to Haiti and Trinidad & Tobago.

It’s an awfully busy time of year to volunteer. We’re all consumed with gift-buying, craft-making, entertaining, classroom and office parties, performances and end-of-the year business, not to mention our regular work and school responsibilities. To set aside several hours to serve in December is a challenge, but I knew it would be worth it – a great way to set my intention for the season.

In our training, we learned that although we needed to inspect the boxes and remove things that are not approved for shipping, we should try to maintain the integrity of the boxes as much as possible. The reason? God already knew the needs and prayer requests of each child who would receive a box, and He’d worked hand-in-hand with the packer to include just the right things.

As we inspected boxes and sent them down the line for taping and packing, several began to catch my eye because they contained a picture of a young man. As the picture showed up over and over, we realized all of these boxes – there were probably 25 – had been packed by the same person. Curious, I read the enclosed note and discovered that a precious mother had packed those boxes in honor of her son, who died in a car accident as a teenager. Her message was simple – her boy knew Jesus Christ, and she had utter confidence that she would see him again one day in Heaven. She wanted the child who received the box to know that Good News so that he or she might also experience the confidence that comes from knowing Christ. Wow. So much for making time in my busy life to volunteer. What had been “work” suddenly felt like standing on holy ground.

2 Corinthians 5:18-19 says this: All these new things are from God who brought us back to Himself through what Christ Jesus did. And God has given us the privilege of urging everyone to come into his favor and be reconciled to him. For God was in Christ, restoring the world to Himself, no longer counting men’s sins against them but blotting them out. This is the wonderful message He has given us to tell others. (Emphasis mine.)

Is this message our privilege to share with others? I don’t know if I’ve thought of it that way before. Sometimes it feels like more of a burden — something I know I should do but feel too shy, exposed or vulnerable to actually do. But this mom, in her grief and pain, was treating it as a privilege and honor to share what Christ means to her son and herself. Christmas is a wonderful time to share the Good News, and a time when people’s hearts are actually open to hear it. What if we think of the Christmas hustle and bustle, parties, performances and greetings not as a season we have to get through in one piece – to survive – but as a platform, an opportunity, an open door? There are all kinds of ways to deliver the message, including through a shoebox of little toys, soaps, toothpaste, spoons, crayons, candies and books. Just pick one and see what God will do!

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IMG_4545Erica Rountree is a freelance writer and the communications director at Action Ministries Inc. She lives and works in Marietta, Georgia, where she’s a member of a neighborhood Bible study and mama to two girls who constantly outsmart her and drive her to drink sweet tea.

 

 

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