Giving away the Christmas Eve offering – The Christmas Spirit

Back when I was leading the congregation of the Mason UMC, one year God put it on my heart to use the money from the Christmas offering for something for the community.  He hadn’t yet told me what exactly that was.  So at the Christmas Eve worship I told the congregation that the money collected on that evening would be for a community project.  If I remember correctly, the offering was between $1,300 and $1,500.  We kept the money set aside for a few months until God let me know in no uncertain terms that we were to use the money to do a makeover of the city park.  We did and it was amazing.  While our church could have used the money, it wasn’t meant for us.  God intended us to show the Christmas Spirit and His love to the community in that way.

Last night I said to Diane, “I can’t remember if we took up an offering last year.”  I’m not sure what the tradition here is at Wesley Chapel in Short Gap, but it turns out that last year we did not take up an offering on Christmas Eve.  Diane said, “We should take up an offering this year and do something for the community.”  I gave it no more thought last night, but at a little after 6 am this morning God woke me up and let me know that Diane was right and this time I am certain He told me what to do with it.  When this happens to me, my rational side wants to begin weighing the pros and cons.  Why wouldn’t we put it in the fund for our new building?  Wouldn’t it be better to give it to the First Way Pregnancy Support in Cumberland?  What about one of the missionaries we support?  But then I have to remind myself that the decision always comes down to whether I am going to be obedient or to be disobedient, no matter how logical or illogical something appears to me.  This year we’re supposed to receive an offering from the congregation and we are supposed to give it to the soccer team to go toward their new building.  I don’t know why, but God has a plan and He definitely laid that on my heart this morning.

The Spirit of Christmas is indeed a spirit of giving.  At Christmas we proclaim to the world that God gave the world His Son.  And there’s no better way or better time to shine His light and to show our community what His church is to be about than to give away our Christmas offering.  To God be the glory.

I encourage you to watch the 3 1/2 minute video of the makeover of the city park.




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One Response to Giving away the Christmas Eve offering – The Christmas Spirit

  1. Brenda L. says:

    What a blessing. You never know what God has planned. So very thankful!

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