This weeks Meditation:  “ReGifting”
Read:  1 Peter 4:8-11

Three-year-old Elizabeth was helping her mother Melinda wrap a present for her father.  While wrapping, Melinda told Elizabeth about keeping the present a secret so it would be a surprise. After the present was wrapped, Elizabeth proudly put it under the tree.  When her father asked her if he could shake it and guess what’s inside, she said, “No, T-shirts don’t rattle.”  Oops!

At this time each year we lament or hear people lamenting over the consumerism of Christmas.  It is a problem when the “things” become the focus instead of the true reason we celebrate Christmas.  But all of us know that there is also a real enjoyment to giving gifts and finding the perfect surprise for a friend or loved one.

The term “Re-gifting” refers to when someone receives a gift they do not want and sets it aside in order to give it to someone else at a later time.  But I would like us to think of a different use for that term this Christmas.  What if we gave a gift to someone in need out of the abundance that we have been blessed with?  In this 1 Peter passage verse 10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

The truth is, while we consider which of the latest electronic gadgets we need (want) for Christmas (I use that example because that is where I find my weakness), many in our world are wondering where their next meal will come from.

Each year we recieve many of these giving options in the mail.  What if we would wrap a gift to put under our tree that signifies a significant gift that we gave in order to help those who have so little.  Or maybe you could put a Christmas card on your tree to be opened by your family on Christmas morning that shares about a need that your family helped to meet this Christmas.

This would be one way to help us keep our gift giving in proper perspective.  Actually, the concept of re-gifting fits here.  We take the plenty that God has blessed us with and re-gift it to someone in need.  Perhaps this will help us and our families to refocus on what needs and wants really are.  I will end with a quote from Bing Crosby that sums this up very well.

“Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won’t make it “white.”
– Bing Crosby

Make it personal:  Don’t feel guilty about giving or receiving gifts this Christmas but try to keep things in proper perspective.  Maybe this is the Christmas for your family to start a new tradition.  A tradition that will help you and your children to focus on the many needs in our world and the many blessings in our lives.  Be grateful, be generous!  Be a “faithful steward of God’s grace in its various forms.”  And Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season!

Blessings in your week,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling
Arthur Mennonite Church