In the Christmas Spirit

The following is adapted from a Christmas meditation by Esther Schaeffer, serving in Burkina Faso, West Africa.

 . . . For out of His infinite riches in Jesus He giveth, and giveth, and giveth again.

—“He Giveth More Grace,” by Annie J. Flint

Widows receive macaroni for Christmas dinnerThe spirit of Christmas is the spirit in which our Heavenly Father generously gave the gift of His Son. It is our privilege to reflect that spirit here where Christianity is not the predominant faith.

Recently, I asked a man in a local store, who was gazing at a dusty Christmas wreath, if he celebrated the holiday. “I celebrate all the holidays,” he said, naming several, including two major celebrations of West Africa’s predominant religion. His answer reflected the perspective of many in Burkina Faso who consider Christmas just another religious holiday—but also watch Christians’ festivities closely

Services Reflect God’s Character

One of our ministry priorities during this season is to ensure that our celebrations reflect God’s great generosity toward us. Most of our churches hold baptismal services at this time of year. Believers publicly testify to how Jesus gave Himself so that they could be forgiven of their sins and enjoy a relationship with Him.

During our New Year’s Eve services, people groups represented in our Alliance churches present a song in their language, illustrating how Christ gives to all regardless of race or creed. New Year’s Day services allow those gathered to share how Christ has generously provided for them during the past year. It also is a time of sharing answers to prayer.

“Paying It Forward”

Your generous giving to us allows us in turn to be charitable to others. Because of your gifts, the spirit of Christmas in Burkina this year will:

  • Reach into a prison through a meal provided to inmates;
  • Enter the local hospital through gift bags for children receiving care;
  • Provide our widows with macaroni for their Christmas dinner; and
  • Benefit our Bible School students with clothing and soap.

Best of all, as Annie J. Flint’s lyrics remind us, the Spirit of Christ will keep “giving, giving, and giving again” at Christmas and throughout the year. May you, too, experience the Spirit of Christ as you celebrate the birth of Him who came to “save his people from their sins” (see Matthew 1:21).


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