Christmas Advent Day 14: Preparing to Share
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God. (Hebrews 13:16, ESV)
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you. (Luke 6:38, ESV)
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want. Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered. (Proverbs 11:24-25, ESV)
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. (Philippians 1:21, ESV)
“The miracle is this: the more we share the more we have.” -Leonard Nimoy
If you’re anything like me, Christmas as a kid was all about yourself. I remember spending hours looking through catalogs from Sears, Walmart, Target, Toys-R-Us, K-Mart, and the like, trying to put together the most perfect Christmas list possible. I would write down in a notebook everything I wanted and deliver it to my mom around the first week of December to make sure she had plenty of time to look it over and find a few things on the list. From then on, it was enjoying Christmas parties at school, looking forward to Christmas break, watching Christmas movies, eating Christmas cookies—and waiting until Christmas Eve to go shopping for gifts for anyone else. Why? Well, I wasn’t exactly bringing in a paycheck in 5th grade, but really it was because I was looking forward to seeing what I was getting for Christmas. I couldn’t wait to wake up on Christmas morning, run downstairs, see a big (at least I was hoping it would be big) pile of presents, and rip them all open.
One thing I’ve noticed about getting older is that Christmas becomes less and less about yourself. It becomes less about the presents you get and making sure everything is checked off your list, and more about finding the perfect gift for someone else, and spending time with friends and family. Christmas becomes less about taking and gaining and more about giving and sharing.
The Lord Jesus is the ultimate example of someone who understood what it meant to share. He shared existence with us in creation (Genesis 1:26-28), shared in our humanity (John 1:14), shared meals with sinners (Matthew 9:11), and shared with us the new covenant (Matthew 26:26-29). He shared Himself by giving His own life at Calvary (1 John 3:16) and shares the free gift of salvation with all who believe (Ephesians 2:8-9). He did not come into this world to be served; He came to serve and to give Himself as a ransom for sinners (Matthew 20:28).
Considering that Christmas is about the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ, what better person to think of when we share with each other this Christmas season. Over the next couple of weeks, it is my prayer that each one of us prepare our minds to share with others—gifts, meals, time, a helping hand, a word of encouragement, a prayer, whatever the need may be. There will even be opportunities to share the glorious news of the gospel with those we interact with this Christmas season. Let us remember that it’s not about what we get from others but what we give. That spirit of sharing and giving could be just what someone needs. There will be many kinds of preparation for December 25, but let’s remember to prepare our hearts to share.