We had a great church meeting the other day. A friend has a truly burdened heart for the poor this season. The commercialism contrasted by starving children has her disillusioned. The calls to stock up to protect ourselves from inflation has her thinking of Matthew 6, where Jesus tells us to not worry about what we will wear or eat. And the passage also has her wondering if the Lord really does provide us with food, if people really are starving.
I am so thankful for these hard questions, this meat to consider at a time when it is especially easy to get caught up in the candy of the month. Thinking about the things from this evening and taking into account our own financial state has helped us to make a decision regarding how we will observe Advent.
We already have our decorations up. I found a cool document about Christmas traditions and their origins with activities to supplement the history lessons. We also have an already set tradition of reading advent books by Arnold Ytreeide, and we will continue that today.
So the plan is to engage in activities, service, traditions and skip the gifts this year. My sister has always talked about holding off on the gift giving until January 6, when we celebrate the wise men coming and bringing gifts for Christ, so I feel that this is a long time coming.
It will be different, but I pray it will light fires in us to seek His face more.