by Robert C. Frank
Christmas is a time to honor the birth of Jesus Christ and a time to remind ourselves of the gifts he gave us. The gift most often mentioned is personal salvation. It is an important gift, but it has been emphasized so much that his other gifts often go unrecognized. (1) His ministry during his time on earth taught us how to work together to create better lives for everyone. Using his servant leadership skills he taught us about teamwork. (2) His death and resurrection brought forgiveness, a vital part of teamwork. Modern science and technology that has been so important for the relief of suffering and improvement of the quality of life is highly dependent on teamwork.
One specific example of Jesus’ influence on our modern world is ACT Alliance. ACT (Action by Churches Together), is an alliance of 137 church bodies from over 100 countries worldwide that was formed in 2010. ACT serves humankind in three ways. (1) It provides immediate as well as sustained aid for emergencies created by natural disasters. (2) It supports long term development in the poorest areas of the world. (3) It uses its advocacy ability to influence governments to improve the conditions for the world’s poor. The list of its members on its web site www.actalliance.org is long and impressive involving many denominations. ACT is an example of how Christian teamwork around the world is dedicated to providing better lives for all people.
Overall, human life on earth today is far better than it was a century ago and much of that improvement can be traced to gifts that Jesus Christ gave us. However, the work is not finished. There is still much for all of us to do.
This is an edited version of an essay posted here in 2013.
Robert C. Frank
Author of Christ’s Team