Self-gifting is a new thing. People would never have purchased for themselves fifty years ago! That would have been considered a lack of humility."
Humility is hardly a valued characteristic in a generation that grew up singing, "I Did It My Way," or their children who hummed along to, "Break Your Heart." It's all about me, my values, my wants. MY presents! Even if I buy them myself.
Around Thanksgiving I decided to "fast" from shopping
until after Christmas. Our kids could pick ornaments, china,
electronics, crystal, or chatchkis from our house if they needed more
stuff. They sure don't want my husband or me buying junk to pile on top
of their things, no matter how nice we think that junk is or how much we
spend. Do your family and friends feel the same?
In contrast, God's self-gifts are unlike ours.
He doesn't look for His own advantage, for what we can give Him.
Instead, He spends Himself freely on us as a response of His loving
character. He wants to be with us. He cherishes the creatures He has
made enough to reach out to us through Jesus (aptly cliched as "the
Reason for the season.")
I've asked God for a lot of things: health, safety, money for school, and peace in the family. He's often responded with, "Yes, gladly!" But not always. Sometimes we get sick. We run out of resources. Relationships churn through difficult times. God doesn't always give us what we think we deserve or want. Faith demands trust in a God who knows what is best and right for us and those we care about.
That kind of self-giving is ultimately satisfying and soul-filling. Plus you skip the huge debts and financial self-immolation that hits after the holidays are over. What do you think?
*You are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long. Psalm 25:5
says, “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock,
and the door will be opened for you.” Matthew 7:7
*Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will
never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35 NIV
*[In the last week of his life, Jesus said,] "Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. In that day you will no longer ask me anything. Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." John 16:22-24
Moravian Prayer: O God of our salvation, eternal hope and source of strength, let our lives be a response to your steadfast love and grace. Amen.