One way our church celebrates Christmas is with a Jesus birthday offering. A flier is distributed with a list of items that can be purchased for others (money to send kids in the middle east to VBS, Bibles for kids at our local Summer Camp, training for pastors in other countries, diapers for the woman’s shelter…you get the idea). I love this opportunity for our children to “shop” for Jesus. They each pick out something that touches their heart. They choose the amount to be spent and pay from their daddy dollars.* We make up the difference. Then they make birthday cards for Jesus with a personal note. I love this part. They always ask, “What should I write?” My response, “What would you say to Jesus if you saw him?”
Our son, Samuel, gave me permission to share his card with you:
Dear Jesus, I love you. Here is some money for kids in Africa to learn about you. Thank you for making Africa. Thank you for telling my parents to go to Africa. I am sad but I trust in you, Jesus. Love, Samuel David Miller
What would you write if you wrote a letter to Jesus? It may be a new or a foreign thought to you, but what if you wrote a letter to Jesus? A real, from your heart, imagine Jesus opening the envelop and reading it, letter. And have you considered His birthday present? Gift giving to Jesus is real. Jesus said, “Love each other as I have loved you.“( John 15:12) and don’t forget John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son…” What are we giving Him this year? I DO so love God that I want to GIVE. Give to someone who desperately needs, can’t give back, and who won’t even be able to say thank you…that’s when I experience the joy of giving to Jesus.
*daddy dollars are our family reward system. I award them for anything from a good attitude to getting around on time before school. We say that a daddy dollar has an actually value of 20 cents and can be used to purchase things in the “mommy mart” that I find on sale and have deemed worthy 🙂 as well as things like a sleepover, a date with a parent, or other non-monetary items. But when daddy dollars are used to buy things for others they have a value of $1 which helps encourage generous joyful giving.