Last year our family started a new Christmas tradition, it is based on a book called “The Giving Manger”. Instead of focusing only on the gifts to be received, whether from God or from one another, we encourage our kids to prepare “room” for Jesus by giving gifts to him throughout the advent season.
"The King will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.' Matthew 25:40
We can give simple gifts to Jesus by serving one another. As a family we mark these deliberate acts of worship in a tangible way at this time of year with our own “Giving Manger”. Every time one of us chooses to serve others (whether family, neighbours or strangers) through acts of kindness, they can place a single piece of straw in the manger. In this simple way we make room in our hearts for the coming of the humble King.
- - -
We delight in giving gifts but can you imagine God’s delight in giving the first Christmas gift? Luke 2: 10-11: “The angel said to them [the shepherds], “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” The gift of Jesus – He left his father in heaven to come down to Earth as a baby child, growing to be a man who died for us, defeating death that we might live. (See the Advent Calendar post of 7th December).
God is the source of our blessings (gifts): all we have is from God. Name a few, and a few more. We can lose sight of them in daily life. Two responses –
1. Thank Him.
2. How does want me to give? “Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.” 1 Chronicles 29:14.