By Bill Webb
It is the season for giving, and that usually becomes a season for shopping. But not necessarily.
Baptists traditionally give to missions during this season. We have included stories on pages 6-8 [Dec. 2 print edition] about a couple of Christmastime mission offerings. Missouri Baptists usually give to one or the other, but many people support both. Certainly our readers are among the best supporters of missions -- at home and worldwide.
There are additional ways to give gifts this time of the year -- without having to buy anything:
* Give a pint. Increased travel during the holidays translates into more injury accidents, which translates into a need for a boost in the nation's blood supply. Now is a good time to drop by your local blood bank and make a deposit. If you are not already a regular there, consider making ongoing visits. You may help save a life.
* Commit yourself to be an organ donor. This is a another way to save or enrich the lives of others. The key is to advise loved ones of your desire to donate your organs when you die.
* Visit someone who is lonely. This may be someone you know. Or it may be someone recommended by your pastor. It could be a person of any age. Find someone who could use a visit -- then go.
* Take someone to church. Almost every church has at least one Christmas production. Take along a friend, perhaps one who is not a churchgoer. People tend to discover Christ when a friend takes the initiative to introduce them to opportunities to hear the gospel message. This is no more than being a Christian friend to someone who needs to become a part of the Christian family.
* Look for ways to share the true meaning of the season with co-workers, relatives and friends. Seasons like Christmas are times when people are interested in Christmas traditions and the meaning and value of those traditions. Look for such opportunities.
The best model for Christian gift-giving gave the finest gift of all more than 2,000 years ago. God gave a gift that hurt when He offered His Son, Jesus, as a sin sacrifice for every boy, girl, man and woman who would accept it. Give God-pleasing gifts.