To whom God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Colossians 1:27
I was waiting in a very long line in a grocery store in East Harlem. With not a ton of organization, and a lot of people motivated to get out of the store as quickly as possible, it was a test case for human decency, and we, as humans, were not passing. I had a cart full of groceries, and I noticed a woman using oxygen she was pushing with her walker, with only a few items. It was a very easy decision for me to let her go in front of me. She expressed her gratitude for the gesture, and then called over her husband and children, who had two carts full of groceries with them, and they proceeded to take the place I had offered them in line.
The woman, was very quick to say what a kind young man I was for doing this, and how the grocery store, and the world, were full of unkind people. She then identified herself as a Christian, pulling out her cross, and share how Christian values help us to be kind people. I took the opportunity to share that I was a Christian as well, but that I didn’t think I, in myself, was all that different from the crowd of people around me, regardless of whether they were Christian or not. I explained to her that we are all in need of a savior. Even if I did some kind acts here or there, it would not take away the sin that is in my life, that the Bible would say would merit death. Furthermore, every good act that is currently in my life, is actually Christ in me, “the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27). I explained that God wants me to do good deeds, so that the world can see Christ’s love for them. The woman reacted with a heart of gratitude. She was grateful, and I believe just relieved that she didn’t need to be a good person, but could allow Christ to make her a good person. She told me she believed Jesus sent me to her today to encourage her.
The advent season is a special time of year where people in need are more open to being blessed and receiving. Whether it is a food pantry, a toy drive, or just some extra help to make the holidays special, people will receive this time of year. It is our job, as Christ followers, as we show people what love is, to explain why we do these acts of love. We can’t wipe away the guilt of sin, by serving or giving the holidays away, but we do so in response to God’s love for us, and to show the world what His love is. In our day I think it is equally important for people to know about Christ and not just about receiving something nice from us. We all believe this, but if we don’t explain that it is Christ in us working for good things to happen, than people might just think you are a good person, and not look to Christ in you.
How can you both show Christ’s love and share about Christ this holiday season?