Gift giving, for many, is synonymous with the Christmas season. Yet, in a world where everything can be had instantly, many people struggle with the question of what to give the person who has it all? Which—if we are honest—is most of us. A question that rests even more heavily on me is: what does gift-giving in a consumerist culture mean for people who cannot afford to buy extravagant gifts for their children, family, or friends?
I think about how the magi and the shepherds all came to pay homage to the Christ child. Did the extravagant gifts the magi brought make them more worthy in the sight of God? I think about the poor woman who put her last coin into the temple treasury. Jesus proclaimed that she put more in there than all the rich folk who had come before. I think about how in Scripture, we are told again and again that God desires mercy, not sacrifice.
I think we know deep down it does not matter how much money our gifts cost. I think we know that what really matters is the giving of ourselves. Does the recipient of your gift know that your heart comes with it? Do they know that all year round; not just at Christmas?
Do your prayers and oblations to God come with your whole self? Are you holding anything back?
The shepherds are never recorded in Scripture as giving gifts to the Christ child. But, I have a hunch that God was delighted indeed with their offering.
Download service booklet here: Liturgy at Home Christmas Day December 25 2022