Advent by Miriam

December 21, 2016

With the approach of Christmas, I have been thinking about generosity. Christmas is the season of giving, and Jesus is the great giver. All I can think about is how generously He came. With the word justice, there is automatically an association and assumption of action. The angels told the shepherds there was good news. Good news that was not just words but that was action. Christ came as the embodiment of the good news. If we look at how Jesus came into the world, that tells us a lot ab out why he came.

He arrived into this world poor. Birthed in a stable; his first crib a manger. There was no room for him anywhere else. Even as an infant, he was entering into the world marginalized, expressing his heart for the needy. The first people He wanted to know about his arrival were the shepherds – those looked down upon by society. They were lowly. The angel tells them, “For there is born to you this day…” (Luke 2:11). The shepherds were the people God chose first to know that He was here–for them. He was born to t hem.

A few chapters later, in Luke 4, Jesus stands up in the synagogue and reads from Isaiah 61: “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed…” And then he tells them that Scripture has been fulfilled through his coming.

If the lowly were the first people to whom Christ announced himself, and if he himself came as a lowly one, that tells us something about his priorities–and therefore, our priorities. The shepherds were the first people with whom he shared himself.

As Christ shared himself with those on the fringes of society and gave himself fully to them, let’s live generously. One way to express that during this advent season is by donating to an organization that helps those in need. Another way is to give your time to a local organization that serves marginalized groups.

Let’s not miss out on the joy of giving generously.

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