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Reflections on those moments when faith and the nitty-gritty of daily life intersect

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A Christmas Gift

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Second Week of Advent

Join us this Advent as we take time to read scripture, meditate, pray and welcome Christ in our lives anew. This is the first of four devotions written by a couple in our church. God bless you as you journey through Advent.

A Christmas Gift Kupelwieser
Most people associate the Christmas season with presents and gifts. It feels good to buy things for others and we hope the recipients will like and enjoy them.

Jesus himself commented on the act of giving in the story about the widow’s two small copper coins. All the others gave from their surplus, but the widow gave all she had (Mk 12:41-44).

This same spirit of giving is also evident in God’s dealing with us.  The Apostle Paul writes: “He who did not spare his own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how He not with Him shall also freely give us all things?” (Rom 8:32). Even more pointed is the reference to the coming of Jesus to this world in Paul’s letter to the Philippians: “Though He was by nature God, He did not consider equality with God as a prize to cling to, but He emptied himself by taking the nature of a servant” (2:6-7).

Jesus “gave himself for us” (Tit 2:14”). That act of unconditional love calls for a response. This Advent season is an excellent opportunity to examine ourselves in the context of giving.

  • There is an old hymn that raises a troubling question: I gave, I gave my life for thee, what hast thou giv’n for me? The wording is archaic, the content has present-day relevance. What have we done for Jesus, what have we given to him?

  • Just as Jesus ‘gave Himself’, imagine that, rather than focusing on giving things, we would do as he did in this Advent season. There are any number of ways to go about it, e.g.

  • The Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet ran a series of articles in November on loneliness in Stockholm. The loneliest ones seem to be not primarily the homeless, nor those living in relative poverty, but reasonably successful working-age people. Some of them attend this church; some are our neighbours or our colleagues. What are we willing to do for them?

  • Those of us who have young children could give them a wonderful Christmas gift by taking time to talk to them about the true meaning of Christmas. Not just sharing with them the Christmas story, but telling them what it means to us, how it changed our life.

Let us find our own way of ‘giving ourselves’ this Advent!

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Cor 9:15).

Let us therefore live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ (Tit 2:12-13).

Born and raised in the Netherlands. Great interest for foreign cultures and languages. A local in Stockholm, The Hague, Tokyo, Utrecht and perhaps even Lisbon and Vienna. Baptized and continuously saved by grace. Analytical, slightly introvert, mother of two, wife of a pastor.
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