God gave Christ; Christ came to give His life for us. If He lives in our hearts, we possess this God-giving characteristic within us. To me, this season is about giving.
One of the Christmas movies that I watch, and I watch almost all of them every year, is called Secret Santa.
Each Christmas, the “big city” newspaper, the Indianapolis Sentinel, runs a fluff story. This year, the editor wants Rebecca to do the story on Secret Santa. The Secret Santa who resides in the humble hamlet of Hamden, Indiana. The one who anonymously gives a large monetary gift to a member of the community in need.
But Rebecca is tired of reporting fluff stories and doesn’t want the assignment, until she realizes that she can prove herself by making the story more than a fluff piece.
Setting out for Hamden, she’s eager to discover the man or woman behind the gift giving, but bad luck meets her along the way: her car breaks down, she can only get lodging in a home for the elderly without internet, and nobody wants to help her unmask the mysterious Christmas benefactor.
In her search, she meets the citizens of the town and those in the nursing home, gets to know them, and opens her heart to them.
Making wrong guesses about Secret Santa throws her boss into a panic, and Rebecca is resigned to the decision to return home defeated. However, just before leaving town, she discovers the true identity of Secret Santa, but she doesn’t guarantee him anonymity. Saddened, Secret Santa continues to work in his workshop.
Reading the article in the Sentinel, Secret Santa smiles as he reads aloud the last paragraph and is reassured that his secret is still a secret…
“He asks nothing in return, save one request that the secret he has kept so faithfully remains just that, a secret, for it is in his anonymity that Secret Santa sends a message to us all: giving in its purest form expects nothing in return.”
And there’s the gist of it all, the heart of the matter: giving in its purest form expects nothing in return.
Do you give and not wait around for any accolades? Any thanks? Any back-pats?
If you have a heart that is willing to give, then the next time you are in line at the grocery store, why not pay the bill for the woman with a baby on her hip and food stamps in her hand? When you are shopping at the mall, pay for the shoes of a teenager of a different race. Pay for the gas of one whose car is held together with bumper stickers. Pay for an elderly person’s medicine at the drugstore. Pay for the meal of those in the car behind you in a drive-through restaurant and maybe put a note with it. Buy gift certificates or pre-paid credit cards and give them to whomever the Spirit leads while you are out shopping.
Find someone to whom you can play Secret Santa. Make a mortgage or rent payment for a struggling single mother or father. Leave groceries on a widow’s doorstep. Buy Christmas presents for a battered wife and her children living in a shelter.
Use your imagination. Better still, listen to the guidance of the Holy Spirit; He will tell you who needs a gift.
“Blessed are those who are generous, because they feed the poor.” (Prov. 22:9 NLT)
“He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and He will reward him for what he has done.” (Prov. 19:17 NIV)
“He who gives to the poor will not lack, but he who hides his eyes will have many curses.” (Prov. 28:27 NKJV)
Remember, we are never more like God than when we love others by giving to them…
…and expect nothing in return.
***A portion of the above is taken from my upcoming book, Ready or Not…Here I Come!