The tradition of giving gifts at Christmas speaks to us when we consider giving a “normal” gift and the much different experience of giving something “extravagant.”
The participants in the Nativity were marked by an Extravagant Generosity, not of anything that could be purchased, but by all that fits inside a box labeled “My-life”. Each person’s Box contains relationships – good & bad; their dreams & hopes, emotions & body, their culture & family. A life has a past reputation, present disposition, and a future legacy; a person’s life might have profound meaning and purpose or be perceived as accidental & meaningless.
When we talk of the Extravagant Generosity of Mary, the Shepherds, the Magi, etc., we are talking about their Box. Each gave costly and sacrificially of the “My-life” they had and knew, and the “My-life” they hoped to have. Their “My life” would never be the same. They handed over their Boxes—the substance of their “My-life”—for substance of “His-life”.
You and I face this same challenge with our Boxes: Will I be generous or miserly with “My-life”? Will I give more than My-time, My-talents & My-treasures? Oh, how we need to be informed and reminded of what it means to give Christ our “whole heart”!
“Generosity isn’t measured as much by our gift as it is
by the sacrifice required to give it.”
Extravagant Generosity was needed for the First Advent of Christ. It will likewise be needed for the Second.
Such a small thing the heart is—but yours is a value beyond measure.
Merry Christmas–Pastor Gary