Most of our giving at Christmas involves an even exchange of gifts—something appropriate to the friendship or the family connection. We sometimes base our gifts on what we received the year before. But the Bible talks about giving as well to those who can’t give anything back. This is the way God gave that first Christmas. He owes us nothing, yet He has given us everything in His only Son, and He asks for nothing other than for us to believe it and receive it. We, in turn, can give nothing back that comes anywhere near the value of His gift to us. The closest we can come is to give Him our own lives in service and obedience, which in truth is all that we have. Which makes our service not a duty, but a gift. Not an obligation, but a joy. Our service to God is our gift back. It’s nothing we can buy and wrap up. It costs more than that.
This Christmas, as you work on your lists, think of giving to someone who is not in a position to give back. And do it quietly, perhaps even anonymously, so that the person receiving feels no obligation to the giver. This will give us a small taste of what God feels all the time.
The streets are very dirty; my shoes are very thin.
I have a little pocket to put a penny in.
If you haven't got a penny, a ha' penny will do.
If you haven't got a ha' penny then God bless you.