A Gift at Christmas
Recently we received yet another check for Ethiopia. And a sizable one at that. I would guess that most people who send us gifts are not very wealthy. They are probably not impoverished either. But they certainly could have used their money on something they needed. Instead, they gave it away.
I am told that at the Feast of Purim there is a regulation which says that, however poor a man is, he must find someone poorer than himself and give him a gift. The poor help the poor because they know what poverty is like. They give solely because they are moved with compassion. They remember that God so loved the world that He gave His Son.
A thank-you note is in the mail to that generous family. Meanwhile Iím thinking to myself, What better way to celebrate Christmas? If give you must, why not forego spending (wasting?) your money on perishable trees or needless presents and pool your family funds into a gift for the poor? Adopt a needy country (no, it need not be Ethiopia) or a needy family (how about that single parent you know?). Or forget the financial aspect and give the gift of your time by singing at the local nursing home or visiting your churchís shut-ins. You will look in vain for anybody celebrating Christmas in the New Testament. But the spirit of giving to the poor is everywhere (see, e.g., 2 Cor. 8-9).
Jesus became poor like us so that we through His poverty might become rich. With that tremendous example of generosity, how can we hold back?
December 3, 2006
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.