The Mitten Tree

December 17, 1999
by Richard Frith

Matthew 10:42 – And if anyone gives a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward. (NIV)

At our church, everyone knows that Advent has arrived when the mitten tree appears in the sanctuary. The mitten tree is a sapling cut from the back yard of a member of our congregation. Between the first Sunday of Advent and Christmas, people bring mittens, as well as scarves and hats, and place them on the tree's branches. By Christmas Eve, the tree is covered with things to keep people warm, in a multitude of colours! We then donate all the items on the tree to a mission for the poor and homeless to give to people who badly need them.

Often we are overwhelmed by the many needs of those in our community and around the world. We often despair that there is little that we can do. However, as today's scripture verse points out, even a small gift like a cup of water is important to God and to his people. Buying a pair of mittens for the mitten tree doesn't cost much money at all, but when the whole congregation makes a donation, cold winter nights are made warmer for a lot of people.

I think that it was Mother Teresa who once said, "We can't do great things. We can only do small things with great love."

Prayer: Dear Lord, let us not to be overwhelmed by the many needs of our brothers and sisters. Help us to remember that even small gifts, given in your name, bring blessings to others and to ourselves. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Richard Frith <richard111@hotmail.com>
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

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