Coming to Compassion this Christmas Season
As 2021 comes to a close, we are reminded to look back and reflect on the year. Sure, there was STILL a virus hovering over everything that happened this year, but I would like to think this year was a success. God moved in mighty ways this year and we are here to celebrate those things.
First, Operation Inasmuch was part of packing over 442,000 meals this year in 4 different states. What an amazing way to meet needs and spread compassion. Over the 8 years or so that we have been hosting these food packing events, we have now surpassed the 2 million meal mark. Praise be to God!
Second, 40 brand new churches stepped out of their walls to show compassion and serve utilizing Operation Inasmuch this year. This is a great testament to God and how he continues to spread the ministry further and further.
Based on reports that we collected, which never seem to be comprehensive, churches in 11 different states still used this ministry to share Jesus with others. I think that really speaks volumes to God’s faithfulness through the years, even with the unknowns of a virus shaping our world. We are very grateful and humbled by these statistics each year.
There are so many more statistics, stories, and points of reference that I could share but I want to focus in on the season, in light of what God has done.
One thing my family personally likes to do during the Christmas season is advent. For us, advent is spending time in spiritual preparation for the coming birth of Jesus Christ. In fact, the advent wreath pictured is from my house. We don’t always worry about the colors of the candles, but we always stop each night, with as many people as we can wrangle together, and reflect just a few minutes on Jesus.
The word advent comes from the Latin word adventus, which means “arrival” or “coming”, especially the coming of something that has great importance. The season of advent is both a time of joy and anticipation about the arrival of Jesus Christ AND a time of preparation for repentance, prayers, and even making amends when necessary.
Being in this ministry maybe has me thinking about compassion even more during this time. How can we encourage more churches and individuals to show more compassion? How can I show more compassion? Compassion is a hard thing to learn. It means genuinely caring for someone else who is hurt or has a need. Compassion requires us to be more concerned for other people then we are for our own needs and desires. It requires us to let go of our own selfishness. That is where the repentance and making amends part comes back into play.
Sometimes, it’s really challenging to put the needs and desires of others ahead of our own. I mean, if we don’t look out for ourselves, who will look out for us? The answer is God. God has promised to always care for us, and be with us through every need, desire, and situation. The sooner we learn to trust that God is watching out for us, the sooner we’ll be able to live an unselfish life that He can both bless and use. And then, and only then, we can come to compassion this Christmas season.
We are excited what 2022 will hold for Operation Inasmuch. We will continue to share the gospel through acts of compassion and encourage as many others as possible to do the same. We are grateful for you, and we thank you for your support and encouragement this year.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.