I’m sure you have found yourself wondering what to give someone as a gift recently. I have not only wondered that but also, is giving more stuff to people who already have lots of stuff what God wants me to be doing?
Obviously the wise men gave gifts to Jesus (Matthew 2:11) but he is God incarnate, which is a bit out of the ordinary – do we have grounds to give gifts to each other in imitation of the symbol-laden gifts given to the Son of God? I’m not sure.
A clearer example is Esther 9:20-22 celebrating God’s salvation for the people of God. They sent gifts of food to each other and gave gifts to the poor. In my own gift giving practices I’ve turned this idea on its head – I give stuff to those close to me and we also eat lots of food together, the poor don’t really feature.
What would the Son of God, whom I claim to be celebrating, say to me about this? Perhaps his response would be:
And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Mark 10:21)