Why is it so hard for us to buy one less gift? Do we really think that the gifts equal love? The only gift that equals love was what Jesus did on the cross. I mean think about it, would you do that for people you have never met? Would you do it for your loved ones?
I have always been a giver of food gifts, it comes from my heart and it doesn't hurt that people love the pickles and hot chex mix that I give. I don't do cookies, mainly cuz I've never done much with cookie. I'm not that kind of food giver. I also like to give of my time but I've been having a hard time finding out where to do that around here and it maybe that I'm not looking in the right places. Alex said he was going to start volunteering at our soup kitchen here in town. When he said those words something really strange happened inside of me, I remembered spending Christmas's at Manna and I missed it. People use to ask me what they could do to help out at Christmas. Do you know we never told anyone we had enough people helping, go find someplace else! At the beginning we had more people helping than people to help, it was crazy! The true fun was when Santa showed up and gave gifts to everyone. He gave out wool socks, hats and jackets, sleeping bags, tents and there was always toys for the kids. The look in their eyes the first year we did Christmas...I will never forget it! That's what buying one less present can do, it can keep someone warm.
I encourage you to make a path this year for Jesus to come in a way he never has been able to before. Clear out the clutter in your life and slow down some. When your waiting in line, smile at the person behind you and tell them "Merry Christmas". Go to www.heifer.org and give the gift of self reliance to someone. Spend time in the Word and let it speak to your life. Make a path so that Jesus can come and use you in a way that he never has before. Won't you join the conspiracy?
The picture is from Jan Richardson, it's a charcoal of the visitation. You can see her stuff on www.theadventdoor.com