During my last year of high school, I saved up my money in order to buy extravagant gifts for my family. When Christmas came, I blew the whole $1,100 on my parents, my sister, and my grandparents. I imagined that—with college 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 apologist for the old-fashioned practice of Christmas gift-giving. 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 December 25 (Luke 1:46-55).
The very heart of God’s good news is lavish generosity. The gospel shatters our narrow self-centeredness 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 (Luke 1:49). 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 honor 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 (Luke 1:46-47). I’ll be following God’s example.
What’s the most lavish gift a person has ever given you? How has God demonstrated His generosity to you?
Taken from “Our Daily Journey”