Christmas is around the corner, which magnifies all those nagging questions…What else do I have to buy? What more do I need? Who is left on my list to shop for?
There is so much consuming at Christmas. And though I love finding just the right gift and imagining how it will bring a smile to someone’s face, I don’t like when consuming becomes my entire mentality. Because Christmas is about so much more than consuming. And I am so much more than a consumer. I was also created to create, though this can get lost in the busyness of buying and the constant push for more more more.
When I think of Christ I don’t think of someone who took and took and took. I think of someone who gave. Who continues to give. Who heals. Who loves. Who encourages. Who blesses. Who rejoices and delights.
And that is the Kingdom I want to be a part of.
So I ask myself this, what am I offering to the world? How am I partnering with God in what he is doing? And I do believe he is doing something, even when what that is is it not entirely known to me.
In a recent sermon, pastor Brian Zahnd said, “The truth is that God is always acting because God is always loving his creation.”
How am I joining with God in this great, beautiful task of loving his creation? This is what God wants from me. Yes, he offers us his love, and longs for us to draw near to him, but not so we can keep this to ourselves. He says Go, and I will go with you. Together let us heal the world. Let us bring love where there is hatred, faith where there is doubt, light where there is darkness, hope where there is despair, joy where there is sadness.
God is always acting. Can I see it? Or have I been too busy consuming? Have I forgotten my calling, to join with my Father in his work of redemption?
Henri Nouwen has this moving quote that reminds me of the important things:
This is a simple examen I can do at the end of the day. And if today was too full of consuming, too cluttered with thoughts of needing more and not having enough, then tomorrow is a fresh day. God will help us when we ask for his guidance. Help me see the gifts I have to give, show me the people who are mine to love, shine light on what I might create and share with the world.