When Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan who stopped to help the man attacked by robbers, it wasn't the powerful or the religious leaders who stopped to help. It was a stranger who cared enough to carry a wounded man to a nearby inn; he then paid for his continuing care. He didn't say, "I gave at the office or thorough my taxes." He responded himself to the stranger's need.
Jesus was a "king" who came to serve. He was the king of second chances. The currency of his realm was mercy and love. Even though he called sinners to repentance, his love attracted and affirmed those who the religious of the time often distanced. Although sinners sensed they weren't worthy of Jesus, they weren't worthless in His sight. He was and is generous and merciful and calls us to be the same.
President Kennedy said: "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." The greatest gift of Christmas comes with the gift of giving of yourself. How are you called to serve this Christmas? The memory of Christmas gifts received fades with time, the gifts of giving to those in need stay with you forever. Let it be so this Christmas...and every day!
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