Did you know Operation Christmas Child (OCC) has been around for 20 years? And this past year they delivered their 100 MILLIONTH box?
That’s a lot of boxes. But the pie chart on the Group Leaders’ Video CD reveals that those 100, 000, 000 children are just a tiny slice of the number of children who have yet to hear the Good News.
Come To Think of It
Some of you may not have heard the Good News yourselves. So you might not know how incredibly important it is to share. 🙂
In a Nutshell
- God created us. Now, don’t get hung up here, you can come back to that later. The important part is: Somehow we got here.
- He had a great plan. And we messed it up. Again, don’t get hung up on the details. One glance at the world as is, and we know it isn’t the way it was intended to be.
- *The Big They* didn’t blow our chances for heaven on earth – or otherwise. We did. Individually we all blew it. We each have turned our own way and fallen short of God’s expectations. Hang on, don’t leave me now. Don’t we fall short of our own hopes, dreams, and expectations? And we set our sights pretty low in comparison to God’s way, don’t ya think? 🙂
The News Gets Good
- We can tolerate the temporary. If we know suffering will not be forever, we can tolerate it for we know it will end. On bad days, time passing is a mercy.
- In the same way, death becomes a mercy. Death is not easy. Nor always painless. For the die-er or for the survivor. And when someone’s life is cut shorter than we expected or hoped, the pain is multiplied. And the questions mount. But when suffering is intense, we can face the pain of today because we know time passes. This pain is temporary. We will die. This life is temporary*.
- God established limits out of love. After we introduced sin into the world, God didn’t want us floundering on earth for eternity making the waters of life muddier and muddier, evil and more evil. Can you imagine it being worse? I imagine it could be. Like a good parent, He established limits. He escorted us away from access to chomping on the tree of forever-alive-on-earth-life and introduced us to the reality of death. At that point, post-sin-entering-the-world, death became a mercy.
If you doubt me, check out PBS’s “short” about the life of a plastic bag. It’ll make you thankful there *is* an end.
- *But the end isn’t The End. When we die, we aren’t recycled, we are resurrected. We are brought to account before God Himself. And that life – one way or another – is eternal. For. Ever. God, knowing this, gave us another way of escape. A hope. An eternal escape. But we have to do something about it.
- We have to believe Him. That’s all He asks. Believe God loves us enough to give us an escape from the judgment that awaits in the next world. An escape in Christ at the cross. An escape from the non-stop, forever judgment we justly deserve.
- Even one breath of sin in our lives was enough to poison the atmosphere. And just one death of His Son on the cross was enough to cleanse us from all un-right-ness.
And certainly worth putting together some shoeboxes of goodies to share with children so they can hear – and relate to – the meaning of the word, gift. 🙂
It really is. A gift. The Good News, I mean.
And the beautiful part?
It’s not just for the children. 🙂
But These Are – Just For the Children, I Mean
What to Pack for the 2-4 Year Olds (Update: The link may not be active. She’s having trouble with the website. 🙁 )
REALITY CHECK: While we still have 7 weeks left before Shoebox Collection Week begins, we may – or may not – have that long to get things right with the Eternal Collector. Make every moment count – talk to Him. He’s listening. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)