By Rosette Mansour

Why do believers give presents and host Christmas parties? In hard times, it often feels more logical to give bread instead of toys, or to work instead of singing songs.

Throughout the Bible, we see religious feasts as a symbol of remembrance – a time to teach the people about the goodness and provision of God. In Nehemiah 8, Ezra reads the scriptures to the people of Israel. After hearing and understanding the meaning of the law, the people were weeping. Nehemiah swiftly steps in and commands, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

Likewise, we see the Christmas season as a time for joy and remembrance. Through the continuous gifts of a faithful partner organization, LSESD has been able to provide “to those who have nothing prepared” in the form of Christmas meals and gifts. The project began seven years ago with Syrian refugees in Lebanon, but we’ve expanded it to Lebanese children, given the severity of the economic crisis on the local population.