So what sort of presents are you going to give?
Well, the wind-up to Christmas has begun with its attendant stress on present giving. Why stress? Because giving to people who already have more than they need of material things is a challenge. We want our gift to express something real, positive and meaningful yet we know that the thing we give is often superfluous.
May I suggest that a return to what we really are celebrating in Christmas could give us a way out of the dilemma? We celebrate the coming of God in our flesh. Jesus came to be with us, to experience the limitations and neediness of human life and transform them into a means of grace for ourselves and those whom we love. We each experience our neediness in different ways and we each need to turn to God and ask for the presence of Jesus to change our lives. Ask yourself what is it you would like to receive from the presence of God….then try to give that presence away? Do you need ‘joy’ then give joy, a happy act of kindness, an upbeat answer even when you do not feel like it. Do you need ‘peace’? Act in a peaceful manner even when you feel irritated. We can only truly receive a gift from God when we give it away. Only human channels that give freely can feel full.
Allow the presence of God to move through you giving ‘spiritual’ presence as you prepare for Christmas then when the time comes to decide on what presents to give, you will find it easier to choose something that will express your presence.
Loving God, teach us how to give with joy and fullness of heart. May your Spirit reveal the presence of Jesus in our lives that we may present him to all we meet. We ask this in his name, confident that you will hear us.
Sr Kym Harris osb