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As Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, it’s appropriate to review some of His teachings that have greatly impacted our world.
Jesus went out of his way to minister to the poor, the sick, and sinners. How else can you explain including as His disciples a tax collector, a position hated by the masses, or others of humble professions, or associating with prostitutes or lepers.
Jesus’ last act before the resurrection was to literally die for all of mankind, including the poor, sick, sinners, Jews and Gentiles alike. It was an effort to serve not just those who are easy to love, but to work hard to show love for everyone. This would fulfill His greatest commandment to disciples to love your neighbor as yourself.
In Matthew chapter 25, Jesus said to His followers, “Come, you who are blessed by my father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
Jesus recommends here that Christians help other Christians in need, particularly those serving in ministry to advance the Kingdom of God. However, as a Christian’s life has been changed for eternity by Jesus’ dying on the cross for our sins, we also conclude that it is our responsibility to help our neighbors and others in physical need because they are fellow human beings.
The Boerne community is full of examples of people following Christ’s admonition; this month has seen many events designed to help those in need.
On December 5 was the annual gala of the Hill Country Mission for Health, a non-profit organization that provides primary healthcare for over 1200 of our Kendall County neighbors who are low income and either are uninsured or underinsured. The organization could not survive without significant volunteer or donor assistance.
Boerne ISD held a “Cookies and Cocoa” open house for all its employees and invited them to bring a gift to support the Blue Santa effort organized by the Boerne Police Department. Over 1000 toys were donated to ensure that every child can share in the joy of the season.
Various Rotary clubs held events to serve children and families in need. The Christian Men of Boerne, including dozens of volunteers, cooked over 250 turkeys at Thanksgiving to distribute to needy families identified by Hill Country Family Services. This organization, along with Hill Country Daily Bread, provides clothing and food to hundreds of local families living in or on the edge of poverty.
But these good works are not limited to this Christmas season. Our community’s non-profit organizations provide support and education throughout the year.
Effective student mentoring programs are offered by both BISD and Hill Country Daily Bread, which also provides family mentoring designed to prepare for a brighter future. The local Christian Jobs Corp teaches its adult students necessary skills to be successful in the workplace, thus providing opportunity for a new beginning in life.
The common theme here is human development. We have all heard the proverb, “Give a man a fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime.”
It is easy to just donate some money to a cause for momentary relief, and that is commendable. But to take the time to volunteer to help people develop for long term success is a deeper form of love and sharing. And this kind of love abounds here in our community and is one of many things that makes us fortunate to call Boerne home.
At a time in our nation where all sorts of nastiness and harsh words are shared every day, it is refreshing to see the goodness displayed by hundreds of people in our community who volunteer and give of their time and treasure to help fellow residents.
These souls are following Jesus’ command to love your neighbor as yourself. And remember, you cannot spell Christmas without Christ, as He is the reason for the season.