Exhortation

Advent is the season of coming, since we commemorate the coming of God’s Son in flesh. Advent is just as much a season of giving, since we glorify the God who so loved that He gave. Distorted as it can become, Christmas giving is a profoundly right way to celebrate the incarnation.

By giving Himself to us, God begins a spiral of giving. Paul knew God’s grace was working in the Corinthians because they shared their goods with the poor in Jerusalem. When the saints of Jerusalem received that gift, they gave thanks to God. God gave so the Corinthians could give so that the recipients in Jerusalem could give thanks back to God: From giving through giving to giving, so that it can begin again.

We think we lose what we give something away, so we are protective of our stuff. Paul says the opposite: In God’s economy, giving is not loss. Giving is sowing seed. If we sow bountifully, we reap bountifully, so that we can sow again, and again.

As you give and receive gifts during this season, take the opportunity to repent of all greed and stinginess. Practice giving generously. Give thanks for God’s gift. Give as God gives. Give because God gave. Sow, reap, sow again.

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