Welcoming a child this Christmas

Can I make a confession? I have always loved the scene in Talladega Nights, where Ricky Bobby (Will Farrell) prays to the Baby Jesus. Frankly, it was the only part of the movie I actually watched. If you’ve never seen it, you can watch the scene here: (but don’t say I didn’t warn you).

This movie is not exactly coming from a worshipful perspective (understatement of the year), but I believe it illustrates something true about all of us: we see God through the filter of who we believe him to be. And because “we see through a glass darkly”, we won’t know how right or wrong we are until we see him face to face.
Until then, most of us at Christmas do a version of what Ricky Bobby does in this film. We visualize a tiny baby. Maybe in golden fleece diapers, able to use his “tiny baby Jesus” power. But a child nonetheless.
And there’s a beauty to that.
For one, we realize that he experienced all that we did- dependance on his mother, cutting his first tooth, learning to walk, talk, work AND ride a donkey (they were the cars of that era). Then He grew up and became an adult and lived and suffered and died- and ultimately claimed victory over death.
And in his journey, we find our own.
He is Immanuel: God with Us.
Not God far off, content to leave us with the law.
God up close-who gave us Himself.
And on the day he was born we are given the chance each year to welcome him- into our hearts and into our lives.
But how do we do that?
One way is to take His love into our family, our job, our travels, and our life– and change those around us because of it.
The other is to take His love into the world. And I want to tell you about a very simple way we all can do that this Christmas.
Last week, I got a Facebook message from my first Compassion child, who I sponsored for 13 years.
Here’s what she looked like when I met her at 147. Jane at 14
And here’s what she looks like now:Jane Teddy
Through my sponsorship, she grew up, got educated and became a wife and a mom. She still lives in Kenya and she’s my Facebook friend.
The reason she wrote me is that she had just seen a video I made with her fourteen years ago. And this is the video she watched:

Here’s what she wrote:

hey..I just watched the video on first visit to kenya..today i really cried but tears of joy.thank you for having such a big impact in my life.love you sooo much and God bless you.

Compassion is the real deal.
I’ve been sponsoring kids for twenty years now, and what Jane’s message said me: “Keep doing what you are doing. It’s changing lives.”
And so, I want to extend that opportunity to you this year. Some of you are already sponsors, and if so, bless you. But if you aren’t- whether you’re single, married, with kids, an empty nester, or a grandparent– YOU can welcome a child into your home this Christmas. They don’t require a room or a bed. Just a check for $38 each month.
I can think of no better gift to give the Child who came at Christmas, then welcoming a child in His name. Here’s a link to a whole page of kids who need help: http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/default.htm?referer=150718
Just choose ONE.
Because the love of God grows in us as we extend that love to others.
That is the mystery of welcoming the baby who became a man- who became our Savior and Lord.
This One whose love we celebrate.
Which we do best by passing it on.

May God bless you and yours this Christmas.

PS for those who are interested, the Amazon link is up and running again on my book- Would love it if you passed it on to someone who needs it this Christmas! Here’s the link:http://www.amazon.com/Finding-Faith-Dark-Story-Takes/dp/0310337119/ref=la_B00IKAGCDG_1