The Very Heart of the Season

By Terry Wardle

December 17, 2010

Cheryl and I meet every Wednesday evening with about fifteen seminary students. We eat, talk, look at scripture and pray. We have been doing this since May of last year and their presence in our lives has been nothing short of a blessing. Many blessings. These are wonderful young men and women who are going to have a huge impact on people’s lives. All in the name of Jesus.

Several months ago, as we gathered outside on a warm summers evening, I challenged them to trust God for something special. I passed out some money. Twenty, thirty, fifty dollars randomly given to each in envelopes. I asked them to be creative and see if the Lord would multiply what they received between that day and Christmas. And, whatever the Lord added to the initial amount, we would do something special for some folks in need.

Well, last night was the check in and we were all blown away by what the Lord did. This handful of students turned what they received into over three thousand dollars. With great compassion and excitement they set forth their plans to purchase coats for the homeless, pay unpaid utility bills for the impoverished, get Christmas gifts for children in need, help a young mother who recently lost her husband and support a missionary couple in South Africa. And in each case they insisted that they make personal contact with each, letting them know of the Lord’s great love and grace. It was in some ways a five loaves and two fish turned into a banquet kind of story.

Christmas is the story of Love come down, a Gift of light in the midst of great darkness. This small exercise in faith has been for Cheryl and me a wonderful reminder of what is the very heart of the Season.

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