Sacred Stories | The True Meaning of Christmas

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back. – Luke 6:38

Our local outreach program’s Christmas project reminds us of what Christmas is really about. We are thankful for the opportunity to shine God’s light and love on those in our communities who are less fortunate.

Being part of the outreach program hardly feels like a job most of the time, as we minister to people’s pastoral, social and nutritional needs. In December, we turn into elves who provide Christmas to needy families. Each year, departments from our facilities generously provide gifts, food and clothing. We consider our experiences to be a precious gift, with memories we will never forget.

One year, when the economy was in a downturn, we had more individuals and families to serve than ever before. A number of our departments not only gave gifts, but helped deliver them.

The Department of Surgery delivered gifts to a family some distance out of town. The mother drove to meet them in a compact car, assuming she would receive a couple of packages to store in her car trunk until Christmas. When she saw a truck that was absolutely loaded with gifts and food, she was overjoyed. She hugged everyone and cried.

To resolve the storage issue, the staff took the gifts to the home of the woman’s sister-in-law. A nephew, age 15, came out and helped carry presents into the house for safekeeping. As the staff left, the young man hugged and thanked everyone for the wonderful Christmas gifts for his cousins. Never did he indicate that he was sad or disappointed that none of the gifts were for him.

After returning to the hospital, the surgical staff shared their story. Upon hearing of the kindness of the nephew, three nurses donated gift cards, allowing us to purchase gifts for him: a winter coat, an electronic game and a gift card with his name on it. When these gifts were delivered a few days later, he was surprised and grateful to receive his own Christmas gifts.

The faces of those served will never be forgotten. We pray they saw Jesus in the staff’s generosity and in their faces when they were allowed to share the true meaning of Christmas: the gift of love and of serving others.

Shared From the Sacred Stories Archive

Questions for Reflection

Reflect on a time when you have been part of a collective outreach. What was the group able to accomplish that you could not have done alone?

In what ways can your team reach out to those in need in your community?

About Sacred Stories

As CommonSpirit Health, we make the healing presence of God known in our world by improving the health of
the people we serve, especially those who are vulnerable, while we advance social justice for all.

Sacred Stories convey ways our mission is being lived out by the gifted people in our ministry. We invite you to
use these stories for inspiration, as a meeting reflection, or to encourage discussion with your team.