Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.Romans 12:12-13
At one time or another we’ve seen children’s joy when they open their Christmas gifts. Usually the frustration that came in the shopping and the worry that comes when the bills arrive dissipate at that moment. Joy in the giving makes it all worth it.
The gifts will wear out, of course, or be outgrown, or simply lose their thrill. But you keep giving year after year because you know the joy you and the recipients feel.
During Advent we might pause to consider, does the gift-centeredness of Christmas have any connection for us as believers in Jesus to the greatest gift He gave: His perfect life sacrificed for us? Would our children even grasp that Jesus is a far greater gift than the wrapped presents they’ll find under the tree? In What—or Whom—does our joy lie?
Paul tells us to be “joyful in hope.” From the beginning of creation, God offered joy to an often inattentive people. Then He came to earth as a baby, the hope of the world, so we could grasp how much He truly cares. You are the joy that made it all worth it to Jesus!
“If it be possible to honor Christ in the giving of gifts, I cannot see how while the gift, giver, and recipient are all in the spirit of the world.” (Charles Spurgeon)