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 There are all kinds of miracles going on in the story. Often the recipients have so much already that it is hard to figure out what to give them.  Grandparents and parents have to coordinate so that the children do not receive duplicates or even triplicates of popular seasonal offerings.


Weekly Reflection: Pastor Dana Reardon
December 4, 2006

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Buy gifts for those who need them

We talk frequently about in stewardship about the givers need to give.  It is this need to give that drives us even more than the needs of those who receive. 

There is no time of the year that this is more evident than during this Advent Season, to the secular world known as the Christmas Shopping Season.  We furiously hunt for just the right presents for everyone so that we can have the pleasure of giving, of knowing the joy that we are creating for them.

A lot of what we do however is frustrating, because often the recipients have so much already that it is hard to figure out what to give them.  Grandparents and parents have to coordinate so that the children do not receive duplicates or even triplicates of popular seasonal offerings.  And when shopping for the adults on your list,  you are  often trying to answer the perennial question, "What to buy the person who has everything?"

May I suggest then that instead you try shopping for the persons who have nothing.  It can be so much less frustrating and more rewarding.  it is easy to figure out what to give the person who has noting.  Check out the Heifer Project of the fair trade offerings of the ELCA.  My guess is that other denominations have similar connections to those who have little.

A goat purchased for a Third-World family could change their lives and might cost little more than a gift that may be forgotten before the tree is down when given to someone who has much.

Christmas is first and foremost not about what we give, but about what we have been given.  God sent love down in the flesh at Christmas.   We celebrate than love in songs and decorations and in giving as we have been given.  God's gift  was an offering of new life for all.   Perhaps love in the flesh and new life gets passed on this year as a goat or a pig or a heifer.

Have a joyous advent preparing with thanksgiving for the birth of our Lord.  Amen



Copyright 2006, The Rev. Dana Reardon. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Email her at mspastor@aol.com.



The Rev. Dana Reardon is pastor at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Warwick, RI.  A lifelong Lutheran, she came to ordained ministry after 21 years in nursing, mostly in pediatric intensive care.  She graduated from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia in 1998 and served 4 years in Upstate New York before becoming a New Englander.  She is still trying to understand the accent.  While in the Upstate New York Synod she chaired the Stewardship Team.  That began her fascination with what makes stewards -- and more, what makes for generosity. She has three amazing daughters: Pastor Reardon says much of what she knows of life she learned from them.