I heard something really neat yesterday in church. The pastor said that we don’t come to celebrate Christmas because Jesus is born (as in he just came into being). We celebrate Jesus because the God who always was becomes incarnate. God becomes man and that is well worth celebrating.
As we come together at Christmas we remember that God becomes like us so that we can know him and so that he can provide the way for us to connect with God through the cross. Let’s celebrate the incarnation today!
OK, this igniter video is the best Christmas mini-movie I have seen since the Jesus and Santa one they did a few years ago. I don’t know how well it will speak to a non-facebook user, but for people who regularly communicate in this way it really captures the ancient story of the birth of Jesus in the language they speak. Not only that it is very well done. I am out of youth meetings this year, so maybe I can work it into a “big church” service.
We once again had our annual Candle Christmas meeting this week. This is now an 11 year tradition. The first few years was before I had ever even heard of worship stations or anything like that, in later years I have combined sermons with worship and prayer activities.
This year I incorporated our storytelling through the Bible series into a prayer service about Christmas. This past week we were discussing the plagues and the Passover. I thought it was a great way to tie in about Christmas as we discussed Jesus being the Passover lamb given for us.
We have a new and unique group of students right now, most of which weren’t around for my big dip into alternative worship so this was a new experience for them. For some it was a moving event, a time to take a break from their lives and focus in on God. For others it was just a weird time to sit in the dark, but either way I think it was where we needed to be as a group.
As Christmas approaches rapidly you can’t help but think about all of the consumerism that we see. Often I think that it would be better just to give something to charity instead of giving someone another piece of crap that they don’t really need.
But the problem I have with that is the person who you are giving the gift to doesn’t get any of the joy of giving. They don’t even get the joy of sacrifice. They only get a card that says that you were a good person. They don’t get to choose to be a good person too.
So I think this year I am going to work up some sort of plan where I give away gifts that are designed to be given away. Cash would work well of course. It is easy to hand someone cash and a note that says, “You can use this for yourself if you have a need or give it away to someone else who has a need.” But I think other things would be cool too, like maybe Wal-Mart gift cards that they can pass out to someone they know who is hurting, or that they can buy cookies and milk with and go spend time with a friend. How about movie tickets and a note encouraging them to take someone who never gets to go out along with them. I could give away visa gift cards and a list of online charities, or a bunch of toys to an adult and instructions to give them to a needy family.
What I am looking for are ideas for helping people be the help for someone else. If I give a gift in your name then I look good and I get the joy and the credit. What I want to do is to give you the gift of helping others, because I have found that joy is beyond anything that I could ever wrap up in a box.
Anyone have any ideas?
UPDATE: I came up with a solution that I like to call A Gift of Giving check it out for a nice way to help someone else pass on the giving.