Each Christmas, we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World. Often times, the month of December is filled to the brim with so much goodness and fun it can be easy to forget what we’re celebrating. In an effort to bring the spirit of Christmas into our home we read the story of Christ’s birth in the bible, we reenact the nativity complete with costumes, we watch the Nativity Story, we read books about the spirit of Christmas. And all those things really do help to ground us during this season but one thing that has been more powerful than anything is to not just read about His life but to follow his teachings and to serve others.
We have this Light the World calendar hanging on our fridge and every day it gives a suggestion as to what teaching should be focused on – what we might be able to base service around. This wasn’t meant to add more stress to the month or one more thing to be checked off – but more of something to think about, outside of ourselves. We haven’t done all the days, Steve has done some, I’ve done others but I love how it’s shifted the focus.
Today is “For I was an hungered and ye gave me meat.” This was a teaching we thought of a service that could involve most our family. We arranged with many others to go last weekend to Feed My Starving Children – where we hand packed food called MannaPacks specially designed for malnourished children. They are sent all over the world – and our particular packing session was being sent to Cambodia.
Kids ages 5 and up can help pack food so we were able to bring Bennett, Hunter and Hallie with us. It’s an assembly line process so we were assigned a station and we went to work. A scoop of vitamins, dehydrated veggies, soy and rice. They are dumped in a bag and then weighed for accuracy. The bag is then sealed and placed in boxes to be added to the pallet being shipped out. It was simple service, but impactful. They got to try the MannaPack food at the end and let me tell you – most kids in the states would whine and cry if they had to eat this for every meal, but for the kids receiving this food it truly is manna.
I love this organization. I love what they’re doing and who they’re reaching. I love people who are volunteering to pack the food – and many people don’t just pack, they donate money to help pay for the food they pack. There were more than 170 people packing that morning and there was an energy in the room that couldn’t help but make you feel the spirit of Christmas. We brought a group of 55 people from our neighborhood (some didn’t stay for the picture) and I think we could fill the whole room with our neighbors of all faiths – serving for the same cause.
Its crazy to think of the power we hold when we work together for the same cause – let’s light the world!