Third Sunday in Advent: In Service to Others

Third Sunday in Advent: In Service to Others

Happy are those whose help is the God of Jacob,
whose hope is in the Lord their God,
who made heaven and earth,
the sea, and all that is in them;
who keeps faith forever;
who executes justice for the oppressed;
who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord will reign forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord!
--Psalm 146:5-7, 10

The season of advent is joyous for us as Christians. It's the time when we prepare for and anticipate the coming of Christ. It's by far my favorite time of year.

One of my earliest memories is bringing my white gifts up to the alter for baby Jesus during the Christmas pageant. I can remember how important I understood that to be. My mother explained that my canned peas wrapped in white tissue paper not only symbolized a gift to the baby Jesus, but that Jesus would use that gift to feed hungry children that did not have enough food. I vividly remember carefully walking up the steps of the altar, mesmerized by the thought of how Jesus would use my simple gift. Come to think of it, placing that white gift at the foot of the manger was my first act of mission.

I'm thankful that my mother instilled the importance of giving in me from an early age. I've tried to do the same with my own children. Having worked for social service agencies throughout my career, my children spent their share of time as they grew up working alongside me sorting donations in food pantries and helping to distribute clothes and toys to families in need at Christmas. I'm grateful that God placed us together in those opportunities of service. I know it has given them a deeper understanding of mission, social justice, and what putting their faith into action really means.

As members of United Methodist Women, we have the blessing of being a part of significant mission work throughout our country and around the world. Through our support of our National Mission Institutions, Deaconesses and Home Missionaries, international missionaries and justice priorities, we are directly connected to each act of mission. From the sack of food given to a family in need, to life-changing educational opportunities, to the safe night’s sleep supplied to a homeless child, we have been given the opportunity to be used by Christ in each act of love. What an enormous joy it is to connect with each other and deepen our faith through service to others!

Even from the manger… Christ began to instill in us the importance of giving of ourselves.

Prayer: Creator God, thank you for placing us in this very moment of service. Amid the hustle and bustle we often get bogged down in during the Christmas season, help us to remember the peace and joy that comes from you. Bring our thoughts back to the basics of our faith. Bring our hearts back to Advent. Help us to prepare for the coming of Christ each day through our acts of giving. We are grateful for each opportunity you give us to be the hands of Christ here on earth. In Jesus’ holy name we pray, Amen.

Christi Campos serves as the Executive for Development and Donor Relations for United Methodist Women’s national office. She has 28 years of experience working for social service agencies in Kansas City, MO. She has served in numerous leadership positions in United Methodist Women and as a certified lay speaker. Christi will be consecrated as a Deaconess at General Conference in 2020.

Posted or updated: 12/12/2019 12:00:00 AM

Give Thanks. Give Now.

Advent 2019

December 1: First Sunday of Advent
December 8: Second Sunday of Advent
December 15: Third Sunday of Advent
December 22: Fourth Sunday of Advent
December 24: Christmas Eve
December 31: New Year's Eve