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The original Christmas gift

By Staff
Jonathan Willis
Last Saturday morning as I drove downtown to the A.W. Todd Center I wasn't quite sure what to expect.
Three area churches hosted a Christmas mission that morning to feed several hundred families from our county.
I wanted to help, at least in some small way, but I didn't want to be in the way either. I kept thinking of what it might be like.
The closest thing I had ever seen to a Christmas mission was what is shown on television.
But this was much different.
There was no line of people randomly passing through as some stranger poured food on to their plate. People weren't shuffling off to find a seat among strangers.
These families, many of which had small children, were treated to a genuine Christmas meal with all the trimmings. People, though strangers to them, treated them like family and tried to provide as close to a traditional Christmas dinner as possible.
It was something special to see.
Once I was down there, I really did very little to help anyone. I basically took out the garbage and helped clean up while countless others prepared and served food.
There were so many people there giving their time on a cold, rainy Saturday just before Christmas to help others.
It is amazing how people come together and do things for one another at Christmas time. But giving and sharing are examples of God's love that He gave us. After all, that's what Christmas is really all about – God's love.
Jesus' birth, death and resurrection are the greatest example of love that we can ever know.
Our son, Ty, is only 21 months old and although he knows he got some new presents, he really doesn't understand Christmas just yet.
But I hope that as he grows he will know that it's more than gifts and candy, it's about the love of God.
I am blessed with a Godly wife who already makes it a point for us to read the story of Christmas from the Bible and to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus.
Although he isn't old enough to understand what we are doing right now, one day soon, he will. I want him to always enjoy the spirit of Christmas and all that goes with it.
But the real meaning of Christmas is what happened in that lowly manger some 2,000 years ago.
That is truly the gift that keeps on giving.