Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas cookies or dirt cookies: some thoughts on Christmas

In a recent book that I read called Empty Promises by Pete Wilson, it says that that there are certain slum areas in India that are so poor that people have to make dirt cookies to fill their stomachs including that of their children. They know that these "dirt cookies" (literally made of dirt) have no or minimal nutritional value, and it is hard to swallow with awful taste, but yet at least the dirt cookies can keep their children from going to bed hungry for yet another night. My heart was wrenched when I read that story.

So I went to Youtube channel to see if I can find a video clip on dirt cookies. I couldn't find one in India, but there are similar incidents in extremely poor areas in Haiti where people make dirt cookies to keep them and their children from hungry too. Here is a video I found and I hope you will watch it:

After I watched it, I couldn't help but to think that every time I have proper meals on my table, I should thank Him for what He has provided for me - there should be no complaining of how bland the taste of food is and neither should I be choosy of my food.

Am I served dirt cookies on the table? If not, then I am rich. And I should remember there are many poor out there in slums like in India and Haiti who have to eat dirt cookies (and some of them are Christians too - they are part of the Body of Christ just like us). Why should God provide proper meals for me and not for them? Does that mean my life is more precious than them? How can the gospel make sense to them?

And every time we are able to give, we should thank God that we are able to give. Because when we are able to give, no matter how much or how little, it means that God has blessed us with more than what we need.

In this season of Christmas, it is prudent for us to remember that Christmas is not a time of shopping and hoarding for more, it is a time of giving. God gave Jesus for the redemption of humanity. But not all of us are called to go to Haiti or India to give, we can start giving within our own vicinity, at our own backyard. Poverty are everywhere.

And let's also remember that when God came near, as He did during the first Christmas to Joseph, Mary, the wise men, etc - our lives can never remain the same again. He messed up people who were involved in the first Christmas - Joseph having to admit that Mary was pregnant before they consummated their marriage, Mary was forced to carry a pregnancy that could never ever made sense as had never happened before, and the Magi had the travel miles and to avoid King Herod.

Every time I take a bite on a Christmas cookie, I need to remember that there are many who are biting on dirt cookies.

Reflection: If we say that we are a follower of Jesus, how could our lives remain the same as before?

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