By Andy Callow (Principal)
“Christmas is coming!” is a phrase that causes many adults to ... groan. Yes, groan.
Is it the thought of gift buying in crowded shops, or the challenges of mega-catering?
Do family complexities cast a shadow of obligations and tension over Christmas Day (when sadly, incidents of domestic strife are known to peak).
Do we fear being unprepared for the challenges of the Christmas season?
There is a better way.
Although threatened by tinsel, the underlying message of Christmas is to be generous and grateful.
Wise generosity is a delight both to the recipient and the giver.
Two thousand years ago Paul wrote to Christ followers in the city of Corinth about gift giving:
“A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting. God loves it when the giver delights in the giving”
(2 Corinthians 9:6)
Paul goes on to give many reasons to be generous:
Giving is the best investment you can make
The “farmer” will reap far more than what was sown. This applies to everything in life.
What you give to God He multiplies – your time, gifts and money.
Giving should be fun
Giving should never be forced or grudging, but rather voluntary and cheerful.
God loves a cheerful giver. Generosity leads to happiness:
Giving transforms your character
Generosity helps free us from the constricting grip of materialism.
Giving inspires others
Giving meets people’s needs
Giving is a response to God’s gift to youOur giving can be a response to God’s amazing grace. His ‘indescribable gift’ is the gift of His Son. He is the reason for the season.
Let’s aim to redeem Christmas shopping and celebrating from the pitfalls of stress and guilt by practicing wise generosity and deep gratefulness.
Have a joyful Christmas!