Thursday, December 15, 2011

Feed the real hunger of Christ

It has been over 14 years since my family and I last celebrated Christmas. For various reasons (many of them Scriptural), we decided it would be best not to observe it as a holiday in our home. And yet, we're not anti-Christmas (okay, well, maybe I am a bit Scrooge-like, hehe!). Christmas has never held meaning for me, but I, honestly, don't mind going to holiday parties with friends and taking part in Christmas-related gatherings. I don't really have anything against it other than for the fact that it's terribly commercialized and watered down. It's never appealed to me...except maybe for the opportunity to have wonderful food, gifts, and family around. But it just doesn't hold much for me, personally. Nevertheless, I love an authentic, Gospel-saturated Christmas-related message when I hear one. Or, in this case, read one. And, these are words that are meant to touch and move in us on a daily basis. Isn't this what it means to be His disciple? I want to live simply and less self-focused so that I find His fullness.

I’d rather only fill a child’s tummy than fill my house with anymore things.

Maybe that’s always the only choice we have to make every Christmas: feed our own fickle wishes or feed the real hunger of Christ?

Nothing can be claimed, taken, received, had; everything we have is gift to us from heaven. All that we have has no other source but the hand of God (Jn 3:27).

So “Christian hands never clasp and He doesn’t give us gifts for our gain because a gift can never stop being a gift— it is always meant to be given.”

When we pass our gifts on — the gifts from Him remaining a gift and being given again — we are the ones given even more of the source of all gifts — more of God Himself. Filled.

When we give to Christ in the hungry, He satisfies our own hunger pangs.

A decade of this, our little family turning the Christmas tree upside down and letting gifts all fall into the hands of the poor.

~Ann Voskamp


Nolan said...

That sounds like a great way to celebrate the joy of giving instead of the obligation of Christmas tradition lol. I was doing some reading about giving under the new covenant of grace, and I found some scriptures that I think are excellent examples that go with the article:

Philippians 2:13
"for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure."

Matthew 6:19-21
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

2 Corinthians 8:5
"and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God."

2 Corinthians 8:9
"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich."

2 Corinthians 8:12-14
"For if the readiness is present, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. For this is not for the ease of others and for your affliction, but by way of equality— at this present time your abundance being a supply for their need, so that their abundance also may become a supply for your need, that there may be equality;"

2 Corinthians 9:5
"So I thought it necessary to urge the brethren that they would go on ahead to you and arrange beforehand your previously promised bountiful gift, so that the same would be ready as a bountiful gift and not affected by covetousness."

2 Corinthians 9:7
"Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

And I love the Amplified translation of this:

"Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, "prompt to do it") giver [whose heart is in his giving]."