give more

Thursday, December 15, 2011

We’ve been working our way through the Advent Conspiracy this Advent season. You can find weeks 1 and 2 here and here. We’ve worshipped fully, spent less, and this week, we’re going to give more. (And at long last, I am caught up on Advent posts.)

[give more]
God’s gift to us was a relationship built on love. So it’s no wonder why we’re drawn to the idea that Christmas should be a time to love our friends and family in the most memorable ways possible. Time is the real gift Christmas offers us, and no matter how hard we look, it can’t be found at the mall. Time to make a gift that turns into the next family heirloom. Time to write mom a letter. Time to take the kids sledding. Time to bake really good cookies and sing really bad Christmas carols. Time to make love visible through relational giving. Sounds a lot better than getting a sweater two sizes too big, right?
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What do my kids want this year? Well, they did make crazy lists with cell phones, toothbrushes, and various other items on them, but that’s not what they’ll remember year after year.

They want me to read them a story on demand rather than say, “In a minute,” and then never get around to it.
They want to cuddle on the couch while we watch Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
They want to hear Anne of Green Gables night after night beside the lights of the Christmas tree.
They want me to come to their Christmas concerts.
They want me to make them special Christmas goodies.
They want me to rock them to sleep.

They just want me.
Not presents.
My presence.

When we intentionally decide to forgo gifts and instead spend our time, effort, and even finances on spending time with one another, the Advent season is really fulfilled. Christmas is about the incarnation – God with us. Emmanuel.

The Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood. We saw the glory with our own eyes, the one-of-a-kind glory, like Father, like Son, Generous inside and out, true from start to finish.
John 1:14 (the message)

That’s the Gift God gave us – his very own Son.
Flesh and blood.
Living here in our mess with us.
Sharing joys and delights with us.
That’s the gift He calls us to give one another as well.
To be with.

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