My dad was a well-loved rural letter carrier, so when it came to Christmas, people on his route would remember him with all kinds of gifts. On December 25 or 26, he would box up some of the gifts, paring them with cookies my mother and I had baked, and take them to a neighbor who suffered from un-diagnosed and untreated mental health issues and lived in poverty.
This reminds me of Boxing Day (December 26), which is the same day we celebrate the Feast of Saint Stephen, the first martyr among the early church. The deacon Stephen is remembered, in part, for distributing food and aid to the widows of his community. Likewise, Boxing Day originates in providing a box of gifts, often food, to those in need or those in service positions.
In word and deed, Jesus teaches us to care for those in need. Who needs your care?
This message is excerpted from “Sharing our gifts” by Linda Post Bushkofsky in the November/December 2022 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate Stephen, Deacon and Martyr.
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