"All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do."
What a great time of the year! A time when it seems the whole world stops to ponder the greatest gift ever given to mankind! The gift is God's son John 3:16 ! Jesus Christ is God's unspeakable gift of Himself, all wrapped up in human flesh! Every Christian should cherish and celebrate this awesome, wonderful, cosmic event!Christmas is a time to remember the poor! It always inspires people to do great works of charity and these gifts are an expression of God's love and deep concern for people! Christians love to celebrate and rejoice as both men and Angels did, at the announcement of Christ's birth Luke2:13-20! We love to tell His story! How could we ever forget to embrace His benevolent spirit Matthew 25:31ff ?It is heart warming to read Paul's recollection in Galatians 2:9, of the time Peter, James and John sent him and Barnabas out to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles who lived in a sinful world of darkness! Just think of the seriousness of this occasion and all the prayer and helpful advice they must have offered them, as they gave them "right hand of fellowship." But Paul says they had a major concern for the poor! The poor must not be forgotten!
So we see how social justice and care for the poor adorns the gospel! Jesus identified with the poor and homeless Luke 9:58! He always gave the strugglers in this world respect and dignity! In Luke4:17-19 we see God's concern for the poor in the very first public sermon of Jesus, "The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed Him. Unrolling it, He found the place where it was written: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." The ministry of Christ began this way and must continue in His Church until He comes again! We are never more like Jesus, or bring more glory to God, than when we show love and mercy to those in need! May this Christmas serve to help us to remember the poor always.