Scripture: … the Lord Jesus himself said, “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving.” (Acts 20:35b)
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and love your neighbor as you love yourself. (Luke 10:27)
Meditation: Lupe was a school crossing guard who lived with her husband and four school-aged children in a very small tarpaper dwelling in southside Phoenix, Arizona. Her neighborhood of poor Hispanics, Native Americans, and elderly and mentally ill boarding home residents was not the pictorial stuff of travel brochures about sunny Phoenix. As a neighborhood in the flight path of Sky Harbor International Airport, it was noisy, but most residents paid little attention to that until they were forced to move due to airport expansion in the mid-seventies.
Lupe enjoyed little of the world’s riches, but her soul was rich in faith which produced the gifts of God’s Spirit. I can still see the light of her smile in my mind’s eye. Because of her deep love for God, Lupe named her sons Moses and Solomon. She made sure her children were in Sunday School and church every week and at every activity offered for their age groups at the Phoenix Baptist Center where we led Bible studies, sewing, crafts, recreation, and other activities.
Though she had very little in the way of material goods, Lupe was always finding a way to give – a shared meal, babysitting time, a hanging flower pot with a macramé holder she had made, and a small stuffed animal which our daughter, then a toddler, still cherishes to this day.
Lupe had learned the Christmas lesson that the widow in the Bible who gave her famous mite had learned centuries earlier – that it is more joyful to give than to receive. They learned this truth and lived it out because they loved God with a passion that came close to total devotion – heart, soul, mind, and strength.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, may we who have most of what we want and much more than we need become more like the widow and Lupe who gave from their little. As we journey toward Christmas, may we give passionately to You of heart, soul, mind, and strength, so that we may know You more deeply as the Ultimate Giver. Amen.
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