What do toys have to do with telling people about Jesus?...
I'm asked this question a hundred different times a year in a hundred different ways....
Why work so hard cleaning a few thousand toys when
you could just go pass out Bibles all around town?
Why allow people to even bring in dirty and broken toys when
you could just hand them a new toy?
Why go to the trouble of cleaning someone's smelly bear when
you could just go to Wal-mart and buy a new one?
Why work 12-15 hours a day for 7 days to make a few dollars when
you could just go ask local corporations to give for a tax write off?...
... and 996 other similar questions...
The answer is never changes...
Toys are simply an avenue to reach
people right where they are.
My Jesus meets people where they are. He's not a God who requires us to clean up our act to come to Him. He doesn't demand that we change ourselves to be accepted by Him. He came to love the unworthy... the unlovely... the undeserving... like me.
In this day and age, I don't think there are many unsaved people who do not celebrate Christmas. While most may not care at all about a baby in a manger... all that I have met over the years do care about presents, trees and Santa Claus. And, while I can't condone Santa, I can meet these people where they are....
We can offer them a chance to make a little extra spending money
this season by cleaning and selling their toys for them.
We can accept toys without demanding that those dropping them
off conform to our man-made standards.
We can love them because Jesus loves us.
I've never been laid off. I've never been a single mom. I've never been hungry...cold... worn out... only because of the grace of God. Without Him, I could easily find myself in the same shoes as those I serve. All that I have is because of His grace in my life... and to whom much is given, much is required (Luke 12:48).
In December, toys have much to do with meeting the unsaved where they are... in our hyper-commercialized world where the emphasis is on a jolly old elf who delivers toys to all the good little girls and boys... toys become a tool....
a tool to meet the heart's cry of the father who lost his job last year
to introduce him to the God of hope
a tool to minister to the single mom
to introduce her to the Great Provider
a tool to minister to the hungry
to introduce them to Bread of Life
a tool to minister to the sick
to introduce them to the Great Physician
~1 Peter 2:24~
At Christmas time, a simple toy packaged with a Bible and given by a child who says "Merry Christmas! Jesus came to earth so that He could die for your sins. He loves you!" becomes an incredible weapon in a spiritual battle for souls.
...and in that respect... toys have a lot to do with it!