The Least of These

The Least of These
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”--Matthew 25:40

 Once many years ago, I was doing an anti-bullying unit for some of my students. One of the exercises was to have students throw darts at pictures of people who looked “different” in some way. The trick was that underneath each picture there was another picture—of Jesus. When the top pictures were removed, there was an audible gasp from the students as they saw the pierced, wounded face of the Savior. This was an impactful moment for elementary aged children, many of whom had been taught to revere Christ pretty much from birth. For some of them I suspect it was life-changing, or at least attitude-changing. Once we learn to see the face of Jesus in every single person, there really is no going back. For quite some time now, I have watched my CPC family exercise this in a positive way, year after year as we participate in Operation Christmas Child.

Operation Christmas Child gets a lot of criticism these days. Some of it comes from people who don’t  really understand the purpose. But I fear that most of it comes from folks who understand perfectly well, and don’t like it. That’s okay. Scripture warns us that we will be hated because of Christ. I’m sure Franklin Graham and all of those who come alongside him in the work of Samaritan’s Purse are prepared for all of that. It goes with the territory, as they say. In the end, though, the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ will not be thwarted. People can holler all they want and say what they want, but the message that has been ringing through generations for two thousand years now will continue to do so as long as God wills.

And you, my beautiful family, are a part of that great and eternal work. We all are, in any number of ways, but when those boxes start coming in every October and November, I am always moved by your generosity and your love. So many willing hands and hearts longing to make a difference, not just for now, but for eternity. This year, you contributed ninety-two shoeboxes. It isn’t always about numbers, I realize, but I do want you to know how very exceptional you really are. Because of you, ninety-two children and their families will hear the most important message that ever was or will be. And who knows how far that impact will go? Who knows, ultimately, how many souls will be won to Christ because of those boxes?

By sharing, by giving, by helping “the least of these,” you do the same for the Savior. Amen and amen.

-Jackie Smith

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