Thursday, December 22, 2011

We Aren't Giving Each Other Gifts This Year

This year, we aren't giving each other any gifts. Not even stockings... Not one wrapped present for us to open Christmas morning... and we're SO excited!!! Want to know why????
‎"The aim of God at Christmas is to make the goodies of the world lose all their attraction in comparison to the surpassing glory of the divine Name. The essence of Christmas purity is not what you stand against, but what you stand in awe of, the glorious name of God."- John Piper
We have been floored by a simple question Jimmy asked and it’s literally reshaping Christmas for us. Here goes “Mom. I love getting presents, but I don’t feel right getting them on Jesus' birthday. Shouldn’t we be giving to Him?”

The wisdom of that kid hit me like a brick. At first I started sharing how our gift giving is out of love for each other and reminds us of THE gift of salvation that came because Jesus came to earth as a lowly human baby… 

But I couldn't shake his logic and then I started reading all these blog posts, facebook posts/pictures, and advent devotionals that affirmed Jimmy’s concern. Each seemed to urge us to stop being consumers and instead learn to be givers. The most startling of these was one beautiful post by Ann Voskamp where her child had an almost exact same question/response time with her that radically changed how they celebrate. You have to read her post! You can see how God convicted me to listen to my child, share with Andy, and seek Him together in this question through it.

And God gave Andy and I an answer to our boy. How do we give to Jesus on His birthday?
            “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’”-Matthew 25:35-40

We give to Jesus by giving to the least of His people. We’ve been praying and looking at ways to do this all advent... Tomorrow I'll share what that looks like for our family. But for today, let me say I'm so very thankful for the way God is leading us to Himself in this new, deep, and beautiful way... through a child...

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