‘Tis the season for insane sales, crazier schedules, and Christmas joy picked up via radio in a frantic car ride from Party No. 1 to Party No. 2. Right?
Does anybody else have trouble with this? Have we gotten so focused on the glitz and stuff of Christmas that we’ve forgotten why we celebrate in the first place?
We have “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” party ware and bumper stickers, but what if that’s not enough? What if we actually have to live out a change in perspective this holiday, by giving to those we don’t even know?
Christmas Change is an organization that seems to agree that actions speak louder than words. They are encouraging us to use this specifically Christian time of year to bring glory to God through our generosity.
Giving is a hard issue for everybody. Christ talks about money more than almost anything else in the New Testament, but many people get irritated when churches talk about money and – the kicker – giving it away. To top it off, our government consistently asserts that they will take care of such needs better than we will, and that the poor in this country and around the world are shackled by our successes, if we have money to spare.
What should we believe? Do we give in and assume that someone else will care for the least of these, or do we take seriously the idea that money is a tool to be used for God’s glory? What if we proved that faithful individuals, even in a time of recession and financial insecurity, can provide for each other – that we are more effective and more compassionate than any amount of forced giving – i.e. tax dollars at work?
Christmas Change states their mission this way: “This Christmas we are returning to the foundational story of rescue and redemption. Join us in spending less and giving more to those in need. Join us in restoring the magic and wonder to this season, as you use your resources to spread good news to those in desperate need.”
This is a different Christmas for all of us. I admit, I’ve had to cut back on my usually massive gift list, (I love presents and giving to friends and family) and (petty, I know, but we’re being honest here) have been a little bummed by a dwindling bank account and growing wish list.
So in my life, Christmas Change is a sacrificial reminder to stop amidst the sparkles and ho-ho-hos, and remember why we’re here, why we bother with all of this anyway, and what our generosity could mean to someone less fortunate. Whether it’s something as small as a shoebox or as big as 50% of your gift budget, we are all blessed to give back, especially at Christmastime.