Monday, December 03, 2012

Giving what Jesus gave

When I think of giving, in terms of Christmas, I'm asking myself what Jesus gave. Obviously He didn't celebrate Christmas. But he surely loved people much more than we love our friends and family members. He was surely the best giver who has ever lived. And what exactly did He give?

Well, I guess we could start with the most obvious and most important thing He gave: his life. He died for us. But the next most important thing was the gift of Himself, His presence. His time and attention. How often I wish I could just BE with Jesus when He was flesh and blood on earth. I wish I could talk to Him, see His facial expressions, hug Him. Face to face relationship with our loved ones is such a precious gift.

Last week, I hinted about how we are celebrating Christmas a little differently this year. Well these guys have summed up how we are feeling so well, I wanted to share this short video with you. Last year, I saw this video, and have seen it circulating again this season. It's a little over two minutes that might mess you up (like it did me). In a good way.

In a way that brings Jesus back to the center of it all.

And look at this. The same cool guys created this poster. Their version of advent is using technology (namely, a smart phone barcode reader app such as Red Laser) to turn our focus to things that matter most. I love Advent Conspiracy's four tenets so much I want to marry them and then live them out not just at Christmas but 365 (well, 366 in a leap year).

Worship Fully.
Spend Less.
Give More.
Love All.

I couldn't have said it better myself. It is EXACTLY where my heart is at this Christmas. Worship Fully. That is indeed number one on my list too. And worship is not limited to singing, my friends. It is an attitude that remembers daily that God is God and I am not. He holds every aspect of my life, down to each beat of my heart, in his capable, loving hands.

But I especially connect with the Give More goal above. One way I'm trying to give more this season is by offering myself like Jesus did. I want to give my presence, my time as a gift. 

I learned in MOPS once that instead of incentivizing your kids with candy or toys to behave well, offer as a reward the thing which holds the highest value to them: your time and attention. For instance, the speaker said to tell your child, "If you stay with me in the store, when we get home, I'll read you three of your favorite books." As moms, our time and attention is our most valuable commodity.

Tonight, I saw a Groupon for Laser-tag in my inbox. My son has never been to a laser-tag place, and I know he would LOVE to try it. It involves chasing people with pretend weapons. What could be better to a seven year old boy, I ask you? Giving him for Christmas an afternoon with me doing laser tag, an activity we could do TOGETHER, is a gift of myself. It is a gift of memory making and relationship.

Isn't relationship the most valuable thing I could give anyone? Isn't that the thing we want most from our loved ones? From God? I do.

Those are my thoughts tonight.

What about you? Which of the four goals above speak to you most this holiday season?



  1. Advent Conspiracy speaks to my heart - thank you for sharing.

  2. I know this isn't the point- but I love the idea of using rewards of quality time with your preschoolers/kids. Perfect! And also- really enjoying what hearing about what you're doing this Christmas. I really really struggle with the commercialism and just insanity of it all. I think y'all are on the right track.