I do not know when the tradition started, but every Christmas I would get some $20 bills from mom and dad. When I married my wife, she also began to receive the same. When my folks passed away, we started that same tradition with our children, and it continues to this day. Somewhere buried in my home office, I still have one of the last bills that my dad gave me.
As I think about those gifts, three thoughts come to mind:
In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, there was a servant who buried his money.
Luke 6:38 says, “Give, and it will be given to you.”
John Wesley wrote, “Gain all you can. Save all you can. Give all you can.”
How is our God talking to me in all of this?
First, even the third servant in the Matthew text acknowledged he was a steward of the money, not the owner, yet he was afraid and buried his money. I need to acknowledge the same thing: I am not the owner but a steward of the money with which our family has been blessed.
Second, as an accountant, this phrase in Luke does not make any sense. According to my math, if I give away, I have less. I am so glad that our God’s math is so beyond my thinking. I am not a Greek scholar, but the text does not say give so it will be given to you, or give then it will be given to you. It is not a cause-and-effect statement. It simply says, “Give, and it will be given to you.”
Third, I have been blessed. I have been financially blessed more than most by the mere fact that I live in the United States of America. Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Christ. A tradition of giving goes back to the time of the birth of our Christ, and we celebrate His birth by living out the gift of giving.
Arnie Brann is a regional vice president of the Free Methodist Foundation. His wife, Bonnie Brann, is the senior associate pastor of First Free Methodist Church in Seattle.
DISCUSSION: What are your Christmas traditions?  What are your Christmas giving traditions?  How are you going to give this Christmas? 0