Did you know that December 26th, the day after Christmas, is celebrated annually by South African citizens, in a more godly show of compassion than American citizens celebrate December 25th, Christmas Day. The South Africans use the 26th as a day of recovery from over indulging in holiday festivities. This Day of Goodwill was declared a holiday in 1994 by Nelson Mandela after he was elected the President of South Africa.
I became apprised of this information one day this week as I sat at my computer and prayed to the Holy Spirit to put into my psyche the subject matter for this week’s blog. I immediately was directed to focus on the word ‘angels’. What’s that (?), my Lord. What’s angels got to do with anything, I thought. The awareness of the presence of the Lord flooded my total being. Have you not considered, my child, the vast amount of preparation the Heavenly Hosts performed to bring about the Goodwill Gift My Father gave the world which is celebrated by earthlings on December 25th? That he so loved the world that he gave his only Begotten Son…
My Father acted out of compassion and the Heavenly Hosts acted out of obedience and the South Africans, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit residing in Nelson Mandela, acted out of goodwill to set aside a special day to think about the needy, the lost and the forgotten. To give back to society and not just their own families and loved ones. On the Day of Goodwill, South Africans sincerely distinguish themselves by giving back to society. These peoples’ giving can be attributed to their willingness to celebrate the birth of God’s Son by forgetting about their own wants and focusing on the needs of their fellowman.
Oh, thank you Holy Spirit for once again pointing me in the right direction. As you were sharing with me, I was thinking about those Heavenly Angels and their preparatory assignment, getting the world ready for the Coming King. I immediately started dissecting the word ‘angels’ and came up with 22 words with 3 or more letters.
Here is what I decided to do with this list. Since goodwill means acting out of compassion instead of selfishness, by means of meditation, I have decided to use the remaining days in December to wrap a prayer around each of the 22 words and apply a Holy Scripture as the bases of each prayer. This will keep me focused on the actual reason for the season and to be thankful and grateful for the Angels of God who remained at their posts until the Blessed Event was born.
For example, below is the scripture I have chosen to formulate my prayer for the word ‘slang’. For I will use slang if necessary to introduce someone to Christ with a limited vocabulary.
“For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.” (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
I invite you to join me in prayer to help you keep your heart and mind on whatsoever things are lovely concerning this Christmas season. Or you may consider other ways to participate in celebrating December 26th and dispensing goodwill towards others such as:
- Boxing up everything you don’t need and giving it away
- Make a sizable donation to a charity that helps the poor
- Give away leftover food and unwanted gifts
- Host a meal for the poor or homeless
- Give back to society by volunteering with a local organization
- Think about the word goodwill and how you can apply it to your life
Scripture Lesson: “If you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” (Isaiah 58:10)
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