Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The King's Christmas List

The King will say, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me." ~ Matthew 25:40

The King's Christmas List by Eldon Johnson is a wonderful book to teach your kids (and yourself) about this spiritual truth. 

In this book, Emma is invited to the King's birthday party. Along the way she encounters people in need and shares her personal things with them (food, clothing and love). When she arrives at the King's party, she notices that all the people there are giving each other gifts, but no one has gifts for the King. This amazes her because it is, after all, his birthday. She is sad because she had a gift for him, but gave it away to the people she encountered on her way. 

The King explains to her that by giving of herself to the people she encountered, she demonstrated the true spirit of Christmas. The King then announces to all the guests that he has a Christmas list, but most have forgotten it...

"Anyone who desires to give me a gift, behold! 
Give food to the hungry and clothes to the cold,
Give care to the poor, both young and old,
Whatever gift you've given to a person in need, 
Is indeed a gift you have given to Me."

The book is written in partnership with Blood: Water Mission and World Vision. There is a website with much more information on how this relationship works.  

Being the crazy Compassion person that I am, I will be using this book in connection to Compassion's Christmas Catalog. By introducing this concept (giving to those in need = giving to Jesus)  to my children, we will be able to talk about how we can give gifts to Jesus. As Christmas day approaches, we will each choose a gift for Jesus.

There are so many opportunities during this season to give to Jesus. I hope you can use this time to explain to your kids and family members that the true spirit of Christmas lies in loving others. As you drop change into the Salvation Army bucket, explain to your children what that money will be used for. Consider spreading the love of Christ by visiting a local nursing home and singing some carols or reading a Christmas story to the residents. Sponsor another Compassion child. Do something.
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