-"Then he sat down near the offering box, watching all the people dropping in their coins. Many of the rich would put in very large sums, but a destitute widow walked up and dropped in two small copper coins, worth less than a penny. Jesus called his disciples to gather around and then said to them, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given a larger offering than any of the wealthy. For the rich only gave out of their surplus, but she sacrificed out of her poverty and gave to God all that she had to live on, which was everything she had.” Mark12
Christmas is not only an emotional season for many but it can be a financially stressful one as well. Consumerism is at an all time high in the holiday season. If I were to picture consumerism as a human, it would look wealthy and full of flashy items. It would be loud and obnoxious. It would be proud and want everyone to see. If I were to walk into consumerism's house on Christmas morning, it would be cold, alone, and very sad. Wanting more to fill the void. Quickly growing weary and bored of what they had, already wanting the next best thing.
Many of us will deny that we are a part of consumerism, but if we look closely, we find ourselves right in the middle of it. Christmas has become a time of giving and receiving, celebrating the birth of Jesus, with a history deriving from a pagan celebration. Christmas would be a time of candle light services and carols. Then came the trees decorated with apples. Somewhere towards the 18th century, presents were introduced. Presents were the symbol of the wisemen giving gifts to our Savior Jesus at his birth. From there, the practice became a secular family and friend holiday with exchange of gifts. The idea took off from there. Here it is 2019 and Christmas goes up for sale as early as September.
If we are celebrating the birth of our Savior, we want to give as He did. His life. He gave words from God. Miracles of healing. Wisdom. Truth. Love.
We give what we were taught......
One of the many statements I hear during Christmas is this: "I do not have any finances to help you right now, but I can pray for you". This could appear to be true to you if you are looking from a "monetary wealthy" heart. Just as the wealthy people were dropping large sums into the offering box, noted in Mark 12, we can believe to have nothing to give because we are holding onto what we believe we need.
If we have the generous heart of the widow, we give what we do not have. Giving from a generous heart creates a ten fold blessing in your life. "Give generously and generous gifts will be given back to you, shaken down to make room for more. Abundant gifts will pour out upon you with such an overflowing measure that it will run over the top! Your measurement of generosity becomes the measurement of your return.” Luke6.
Giving isn't a monetary issue, it is a heart issue.
I want to challenge you to go back to the heart of Jesus, the one in whom we are truly celebrating, and give with a generous heart an abundant gift.
(Please send me your Christmas giving/receiving testimonies, let the generous heart be louder than the consumer)