“The Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance among you, and the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do.” Deuteronomy 14:29
When I read this passage in the Old Testament, I was surprised to discover that one of the major reasons God wanted His people to tithe was so that they could joyfully celebrate His feasts in a big way. It was also very important to help the Levites and the poor in their towns to celebrate. Even the immigrants were included in the celebration!
In fact, by instituting the tithing system, God gave the whole nation permission to all go on holiday to Jerusalem together! The tithe they were giving to Him actually went to pay for a huge party, as people used the funds to eat and drink whatever their heart desired during this time of national celebration (see Deuteronomy 14:26-29).
I think this is an amazing principle to follow as a Church, even today.
At Christmas, one of our two great feasts, we can make it our goal to ensure that everyone who wants to joyfully celebrate Christ’s birth can do so, no matter how poor they might be. One of many ways to do this is to simply set aside some money all through the year for Christmas baskets, and then help prepare and distribute these baskets to people in need. This is what we do as a family, and it really makes Christmas come alive for us. It is so much fun to give not only essential foods, but also festive food like hams, turkeys, fruit, pies, cookies, and cakes so that everyone can party.
Father, thank You for inviting us to celebrate You, and for providing more than we need so that we can help make sure that everyone in our town can celebrate, no matter how poor they are! Thank You for calling us to live as a community that can celebrate together and share together in all the good things that You provide!
Choose one thing you will do throughout the coming year to help everyone in your town celebrate Christmas if they want to, no matter how poor they are.