Orthodox Thought for the Day


Friday, October 2, 2015

Nostalgia & spiritual investment

Am I the only person who remembers standing in line with mom and her Christmas Club coupon book at the local bank in the 1960’s?  Anyone who lived during the 60’s (or earlier) probably remembers the popularity of Christmas Club savings programs back then.  (Trivia:  The interest in Christmas Club accounts peaked in the ‘70’s and somewhat petered out afterwards.  However, in the ‘60’s, Christmas Club accounts were all the rage and used by many American families to their advantage).  Along with many other Americans, my mom faithfully put aside $5 a week all year anticipating the holidays.  Result?  She had $200 plus dollars available to her every December to prepare for holiday gift-giving and more. 




Today I was thinking of our brethren in Kosovo and their hardships.  They, too, hope for a festive Christmas, if not as much for themselves as for their children.  Supporters of the Decani Monastery Relief Fund often manage to gather money to help brethren there at year end, but not all have extra funds in December.  For many people, cash is not free flowing.  It wasn’t for my family in the 60’s.  But, using the local bank, my mom found a way to make the holiday merry and bright without breaking the bank, so to speak.  With its help, she routinely set aside $5 a week at the beginning of the year.  When December rolled around, she reaped the reward of consistent saving.  Five dollars doesn’t seem like much, but still, $5 a week, if you started saving this week, would yield about $60 by year end. 

Beloveds, it is still somewhat easy these days to save for Christmas giving like my mom did in the 60’s.  But, rather than save for your own merry Christmas, why not save for someone else’s?  Someone who cannot do for his or her family what you can do for them.  How about a Christmas Club account for Kosovo? 

Here’s the idea:  set aside an envelope this week and mark it “Kosovo Christmas Fund.”  Each week through mid-December, place $5 into the envelope.  The third week of December, use that money to make a Paypal donation to the Decani Fund (I will post a reminder about that time as a help).  Or, those who prefer can write a check instead.   

The Serbians celebrate the Nativity Feast on January 6 so there should be enough time for the Decani fathers to receive funds and purchase food for individuals and families with the greatest needs.     

Five dollars a week may not seem like much, but if a number of people do that, what a huge difference it would make!  Talk about smart, cooperative giving.  We can do it together.  How much easier can it get?  What I do know is this--a small amount a week is manageable for most people.  And if a group of people do this together—well, the cup of blessing will overflow!  What a relief it will be for Christians who live in chronic hardship.  Bless those who cannot repay in this life—that’s God’s way. 

I’m starting my Christmas Club account for Kosovo today.  Will you join me in routine, consistent giving to help bless the brethren in Kosovo during the upcoming Christmas holidays?  There is little relief for a life of destitution unless someone comes alongside to ease the burden.  These folks live in hardship due to circumstances beyond their control; we, on the other hand, are stewards of God’s bounty.  It’s easy to lend some support:  just set aside $5 consistently each week through the third week of December and bring JOY and THANKSGIVING to many hearts. 

Let’s plan ahead to wish our brothers & sisters in Kosovo thus, “Mir Boziji, Hristos se rodi!", meaning "The peace of God, Christ is born!"  Be assured, the blessing will return to you from God. 

Nativity grotto where Christ was born in Bethlehem 

Thank you, dear brothers & sisters in the Lord!
Presbytera Candace 

The Decani Monastery Relief  Fund is exempt from Federal income tax under section 501 © (3).

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