When does gift giving become the least spiritual part of this season for you? It happens to me when I trade interesting questions for lesser ones. When time is short, I stop wondering, “What unexpected gift would bring them joy?” I start asking questions like: What’s expected? How much should I spend? Is it in stock? Did I give them that last year?
Whenever the act of giving seems to diminish our spirit instead of breathing life into it, God wants to help. When God gives, relationships deepen. The gifts God offers shine with creativity and inspire us to enjoy the act of giving, too. To draw closer to God is to learn new ways to share.
As Jeremiah describes the way that God keeps giving, hear the echoes of that divine creativity through which God began the world and and nurtures it. Listen to the passage and recognize the imagination that sparked the details of everything in creation. God envisions raising up righteous leaders and establishing justice. God seems to prefer ongoing works and continuous creations to abrupt gestures. This God who forms land and sea causes a righteous Branch to spring up for David
(v. 15). God offers us steadfast love that endures forever. That love is
the catalyst for every other gift with which God sustains us.
Gift giving could be the most creative thing we do this month, if we let God teach us how to give. What would we present if our Creator’s delight inspired us to try something surprising or new? What beauty could we add to the world if we asked what could enrich a relationship, or strengthen a community, or make someone’s life better? What might we wrap up for Christmas if we decided to make this year’s gift giving a spiritual activity we pursue with God?
Spend time today seeking God’s response to your gift list. Who might God add to it? What gift ideas might God suggest for the people you’ve included?
God, help us know that the love you give us so freely grows more abundant when we share generously, too. Amen.