What was the most memorable, most impactful Christmas Present you ever received? I got stopped by someone in our congregation today who told me that her son was born on Christmas. She never received a gift as wonderful as her son. He only lived to be five years old, but she was so happy to have spent those five precious years with him.
This week, we are thinking about how we can give to others so that we reflect the greatest gift God could have ever given us, Jesus. Think about it.
Our job at Christmas is to reflect this joy of receiving Christ from God 2,000 years ago in every gift that we give to others. This can be done through physical gifts, through kind words, through the sacrifice of time, or even through anonymous giving. The goal is to reflect our relationship with Christ and our relationship with the person through love. One great way to show Christ's love is through relational giving.
EXAMPLES OF RELATIONAL GIVING:
- Research an organization or cause that is important to the person you are buying a gift for. Donate in that person's honor to that group. The key here is something that's important to them, not necessarily important to you.
- Purchase a gift that builds the relationship. An example from the book was a son who purchased his dad a bag of coffee. He told his dad that they would drink the bag cup by cup together. Every time they gathered to drink a cup, the son wanted to hear stories from the father's life and childhood. You could do the same thing with books, a dinner invitation, movie tickets, etc. The possibilities are endless.
- Spend time on a gift even if it doesn't financially cost you a lot. Another example from the book was a gift that was given to the pastor's wife. Someone in the church contacted a long list of people, asking them to send letters, pictures, cards, etc. to the person about how the wife had touched them. Then the person collected everything into a book. On Christmas morning, the person who made the book didn't even give it herself so that the pastor's wife could spend the time with her family reading and enjoying all of the things.
- Support a developing community or country as a family. As a family, choose something to support. Then, when you all decide not to purchase significant gifts but instead to make donations, you can share on Christmas morning the impact you made together as a family.
THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:
- What's something you can do that communicates love?
- What's the most personal gift you've received in the recent years?
- How can you give the gift of God's presence to others?
- What is the biggest risk of relational giving
Advent Conspiracy, Rick McKinley & Chris Seay, p. 131: Give More Discussion Questions.