Whose Birthday Is It?

In Boca Rotan, Florida, several years ago, a 6-year-old boy who was attending a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese was left at the restaurant by his parents after the party. The child went into state custody, as the parents did not discover the child was missing until the next day!

Inconceivable as it might seem that a child might be forgotten on his own birthday, pretty much the same thing happens every year at Christmas time. Ostensibly, Christmas is about the birthday of Jesus, but He often gets left out of many of our plans and celebrations.

For example, take the gifts that we give: who on your “list” gets the biggest gift at Christmas time? If you are married, perhaps it is your husband or wife. Or if you have children or grandchildren, it might be those little ones. But are we forgetting Whose birthday it really is? What will you do for the Lord this Christmas season?

One might ask, “Well, what can I do to ‘give’ something to the One who made everything?” You can give to the cause that is closest to His heart. Jesus said He came to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). The Southern Baptist International Mission Board is dedicated to the task of reaching the unreached people groups of the world: people who have never heard the message of salvation through Jesus. Every year, during the Christmas season, we take up the “Lottie Moon Christmas Offering”, every penny of which goes to support our 5000 Southern Baptist missionaries who, like my own sister, have gone to remote places in the world to share the message of Jesus. Last year, SBC missionaries won almost 275,000 people to Christ, and started almost 14,000 new churches overseas! I can imagine no gift you could give which would more honor the birth of Jesus than one given to the Lottie Moon Offering.

So the question then becomes: what will YOU do? Who will get the biggest present on your Christmas list? I have made it my own personal practice for the last number of years, to give my biggest Christmas gift to the One Whose birthday it is. Whatever the largest present is that I buy my wife Cheryl or one of our kids, I give a larger gift to the Lord through the Lottie Moon Offering. Will you join me in that commitment this year? It is not unreasonable, is it, to give our largest gift to the One Whose birthday we are celebrating?

(also published in The Oklahoma Baptist Messenger, 12-10-14, and FBC Pauls Valley newsletter, Dec. 2014)

About Shawn Thomas

My blog, shawnethomas.com, features the text of my sermons, book reviews, family life experiences -- as well as a brief overview of the Lifeway "Explore the Bible" lesson for Southern Baptist Sunday School teachers.
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