Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

One Christmas Day when I was kid, my mum had to go to work.

Her job was at the local old folks' home, so we all went in and had our Christmas meal with the residents there. I recognised that some people had to work on the most special day of the year, but all the same, it still seemed like a sacrifice.

Years later, on the other side of the world, it occured to me that the opposite was true.

Surely, if you're going to help other people out as part of your Christian faith, then Christmas Day is the most appropriate date on which to do so?

Hence, on Christmas Day 2004 I determined to pitch-in and help-out with the Auckland City Mission's meal for the disadvantaged. This was something of a disaster. I couldn't even find the place.

The following year I determined to do the same thing again, but they already had enough people, so I wound up spending the 25th slumped in front of the TV with Shane.

After that I just accepted my annual place on the sofa without any argument.

This year however I actually managed to contribute to the Christmas meal happening at the church five minutes away from where I live. Not by much, but just by arriving afterwards to dry-up, sweep-up and mop-up. An hour, easy.

They had a few gifts left over, so they gave me one to say thanks. I've no idea when I'll open it.

The thing is, despite what I said above about Christmas Day being the most appropriate date on which to help people, in my house it never gets around to happening until a few days later anyway...


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