It's December 6. This morning, as I laid in bed and tried to think through my day (and all the stuff I have going this week) I thought to myself, "OK, I need to get serious about Christmas shopping really soon." So far I have not spent 5 seconds thinking about it, but I also do not want to be "that girl," shopping frantically on Dec 23...
As I got going with my day, I read this on Common Prayer for Dec 6:
The original “Old St. Nick” who inspired the tradition of Santa Claus, Nicholas was bishop of Myra in fourth-century Turkey. Little is known about his life except that he entrusted himself to Jesus at an early age and, when his parents died, gave all of their possessions to the poor. While serving as bishop, Nicholas learned of three girls who were going to be sold into slavery by their father. Moved to use the church’s wealth to ransom the lives of these little ones, he tossed three bags of gold through the family’s window. We recall this ancient Christmas gift, even as we remember that 1.2 million children are trafficked each year in the global sex trade today.
This reinforced the point further:
Catherine Booth, co-founder of the Salvation Army and a passionate advocate for children, said, “There is no improving the future without disturbing the present.”
So I feel confronted, in a deep and very good way, to reconsider how I will spend my money on gifts this year. These verses completed my call to action:
One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could lay his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him.But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” And he placed his hands on their heads and blessed them before he left. (Matthew 19:13-15)
How can you change your spending this year to reflect the true history of Christmas? How can I "disturb the present"?
There are so many valuable, multiple causes... I think of International Justice Mission, World Relief, International Child Care Ministries, World Vision... I will be giving to Mission Impact, an organization that I have worked with when I have taken students to Guatemala. I can verify that it is a very solid, reliable organization.
Bottom line: how can you and I truly spend this season differently in the way we spend money? How can your Christmas not be about consumption and instead be about conviction?