Minus a few Christmas presents that we have yet to purchase, all of our packages are wrapped! Travis and the kids and I will be celebrating our family Christmas this Saturday, so I wanted to get everything neatly arranged under the tree in time to be enjoyed. I just love the suspense and the beauty of nicely wrapped gifts displayed beneath the Christmas tree. So, unlike some parents who wait until the last minute to wrap and reveal their kids’ presents, I do so as soon as the shopping is done!
As I put the last of the wrapped gifts under our tree Monday morning, I sat back and was almost overwhelmed by the tangible evidence of blessing–and responsibility–before me. On what the world would probably consider a pretty modest budget, we have purchased three gifts for each of our children in addition to a few things for other gift exchanges within our families; and the sum of the packages which perfectly fit under the front side of our tree looks back at me and reminds me not only that we have been given much but also that to whom much has been given much is required (Luke 12:48).
Truly, I am humbled by the fact that God has given me more than I need; and my continual confession of that serves to remind me of Travis’ and my responsibility to give. I look at our full tree this year, and I ask myself, Am I doing enough?… Considering that of me much is required, am I doing enough?
Our church played a video at Christmas Sweet Sunday night depicting a single mom who could not afford to buy even one Christmas gift for her children. Underneath her twig of a tree sat two boxes wrapped in newspaper, each containing one toy which she had taken from a neighbor’s garage sale “FREE” box. As her two kids opened their packages on Christmas morning, she discovered that someone (those neighbors) had secretly replaced the “FREE” gifts with a video gaming system and a laptop. Tears flowed from my eyes as I watched the depiction of both the giving and the receiving end of extreme generosity.
It is my prayer that like those neighbors in the video, I would have eyes to see the needs of people around me and a heart to obey God’s call to be faithful with what He has given me (Matthew 25:14-29), to sow bountifully and to give cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:6-7) and sacrificially (Mark 12:41-44), and to share with the needy (Acts 2:45, Deuteronomy 15:7-8).
Indeed, God has given me much; and it is in fear and trembling and with great thankfulness that I am asking Him to show me what is required of me this Christmas.