Fasting by Giving
The prophet Isaiah writes,
Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free; and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—;
when you see the naked, to clothe them; and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn; and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
Advent is a season of fasting. Crazy, right? All around us is celebration, but the Church is called upon to fast. In the Book of Isaiah, the Holy Spirit counsels us that fasting is not just about giving up food. It is also about sharing with the poor. In the secular world, the Christmas season is about buying and receiving, as well as giving to those we love. In the Church world, the Advent season is about giving to those who are in need, and even giving to those whom we don’t know as an act of Christian love.
Today, I would like to tell you about Family Affair Ministries' Christmas Store. Each year, FAM provides the poor in East Nashville with an opportunity to shop for Christmas gifts. The blessing is that the gifts are free to those who come to the store. Yes, there is a great system in place which ensures fairness and prevents people from abusing the system.
All gifts in the FAM Christmas Store are donated, and many are given by members of the church I am a part of, Church of the Redeemer. This coming Sunday is the last day to bring unwrapped gifts to Redeemer so they can be ready for the Christmas store. You can also take them by Family Affair Ministries at 1600 Riverside Drive in East Nashville.
Let me invite you to consider giving a gift through FAM as a way of fulfilling Christ's command to minister to the "least of these."
Here is a list of items that the FAM Christmas Store needs.
Clothing Items: New coats, jackets, pants, pajamas, socks, shoes, gloves, scarves, etc. (any size…boys, girls, men and women)
Electronic Items: CD players, MP3 players, alarm clocks, etc.
Baby Needs: Diapers, bottles, rattles, strollers, warm clothing, etc.
Hygiene Products: Lotion, soap, deodorant, shaving cream, packaged razors, denture products, etc.
Household Items: Laundry detergent, fabric softener, towels, washcloths, etc.
Household Appliances: Irons, toasters, blenders, can openers, etc.
Sports Equipment: Bicycles, skateboards, roller blades, basketballs, footballs, etc.
Children’s Books and Toys: Books, board games, stuffed animals, dolls, art supplies, puzzles, etc.
They do ask that the items be new. They also ask that we do not purchase items that are Pokemon, Digemon, Harry Potter, Bratz, or negative super heroes.