Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC
Friday, December 16
By Rev. Rick Isbell
Giving and Getting
Read: Acts 20:35 NIV
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said:
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.”
When I was a little boy, I loved getting presents on my birthday and under the tree on Christmas morning. Who doesn’t like getting a new Nintendo, a nice piece of clothing or that one item you “hinted at” all year. Receiving gifts from friends and family is a special time for all of us. But lately I have seen that getting things can be quite overwhelming and cumbersome. I look around and see the proliferation of storage unit complexes that span acres or go up several stories. And more are being built each year. We have so much stuff that we need extra storage units to store it all.
As I have gotten older, I have found the joy in giving rather than always thinking about getting stuff. Sure, I still like to receive presents; but now I think more on how I can share the “gifts and graces” I have been blessed with. I think about how I can give my time and resources to help others. This Advent season is a time to think about what gifts you can give to others that don’t need to be wrapped. Think about all those warm clothes you don’t wear anymore that could be given away. Pick up a few extra food items at the store and give to a food co-op. Take the time to visit a homebound church member or send them a card. Give an extra $25 to UMCOR to help flood or hurricane victims. Volunteer 1-2 hours a week at the church or community agency such as Mobile Meals, Beacon of Hope, Wesley House or a local school.
This Advent season as we prepare again for the “coming” of the Christ child into the world, let us discipline ourselves to think more of giving than getting. Let us think about helping the Kingdom of God become a reality by giving of our time, talents and resources in helping others.
God, help me find ways to give to others all year long. Help me give of myself and my resources to make this world a better place for all. AMEN.