Advent: Giving Christmas Away

Contrary to what some might believe, I rather enjoy Christmas. I love Christmas music. I very much love the time it affords me to spend with my family and friends. I love the excitement that it brings. I do enjoy Christmas. What I do not enjoy is the hijacking and commercialization that seems to happen earlier and earlier each year. Consider this: Before the Jack-O-Lanterns of Halloween had a chance to become all shriveled and gross the Christmas Commercialization engine already left the station. This happens each year…and we are largely culprits. 

What happens if we declare this season we will take the focus from us and our needs (most accurately, they are probably wants) and put the focus onto Christ and the needs of others? What could happen in our hearts over this Advent season if we remember the significance of that center candle? What happens within our hearts and the hearts of our families and communities when we take seriously the admonishment of Philippians 2:1-8: 1 

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? 2 Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.3 don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. 4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.5 You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.6 Though he was God,[a] he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to.7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges[b]; he took the humble position of a slave[c] and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form,[d]8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. 

This season, let's commit to taking the focus from ourselves and look out to others.  Let's give Christmas away and encourage our children to do the same. Remind our children how incredibly blessed they are and encourage them to consider others before themselves. We just might be surprised by what happens when we Give Christmas Away this Advent. 

Advent Prayer:

Father, on this day, we are grateful that hope has come. Throughout this season, make us mindful of the needs of others. Help us to consider others before ourselves. Holy Spirit, reveal to us practical ways that we might share hope this season. We are grateful. We are mindful. Make us more so. Amen.

One other thing...

Follow along with me this Advent with the following devotion written by my colleagues and me from University City UMC:

Check out UCUMC media page for other tips on Giving Christmas Away this season:

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