ODJ: lavish generosity

December 10, 2014 

READ: Luke 1:46-56 

Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words! (2 Corinthians 9:15).

During my last year of school, I saved up my money in order to buy extravagant gifts for my family. When Christmas came, I blew the whole lot on my parents, my sister and my grandparents. I imagined that—with university looming—I might never have the chance to be as generous with my money again.

It would be dangerous, however, to equate generosity only with giving money or gifts. It’s also true that since we live in a culture where the insatiable desire for more threatens to overwhelm us, it’s good to distinguish between generosity and obsessive, selfish consumerism. Still, I consider myself an advocate for the old fashioned practice of giving gifts at Christmas. Done well, I believe that giving to another can reflect in some small way the very heart of God’s extravagant gift—the Gift we celebrate each 25 December (Luke 1:46-55).

The very heart of God’s good news is lavish generosity. The gospel shatters our narrow self-centredness because it declares a truth that borders on the absurd: God, Creator and Ruler of all, came to us . . . to us. And God came as a helpless baby . . . a baby. This Gift first came to Mary, and she was overwhelmed. “The Mighty One . . . has done great things for me,” she exclaimed (v.49).

This Gift has been extended to us all—a gift beyond our wildest imagination, and one we could never manage on our own. This Christmas, in honour of the Greatest Gift, I’ll be giving gifts too. I want to give more of my time, more of myself and my attention, more words and prayers and hugs. But also, I’ll be giving a few gifts that are lavish—gifts that make for joy and smiles (vv.46-47). I’ll be following God’s example. —Winn Collier

365-day plan› 2 Thessalonians 3:1-18

Read Matthew 7:11. What does this verse tell us about God’s generosity? What does it say about God not being stingy in His giving? 
What’s the most lavish gift a person has ever given you? How has God demonstrated His generosity to you?