December 9, 2018
When we think about Christmas we think about “gift giving.” We harken back to that very first Christmas when the Magi brought gifts to the babe in the manger. The essence of this gift giving tradition is to show love and respect for the person(s) you are offering gifts to. Society sometimes tries to put a value on love and on respect and this false assumption sometimes is carried over into the gifts we choose. The more expensive or the larger amount of gifts we give the more we respect and love that person. But is that really true. Is a gift that cost lots of money really worth more than one that was personally chosen or one that was handmade? Do presents have more value than “presence?” The idea behind “Spend Less” is not as much about the “less” part than it is about the “spending” part. Asking yourself questions like, “Does this gift truly demonstrate respect and love toward the person I am giving it to? Do the companies I purchase them from represent standards that honor those who work for them? Is the reason I am giving this gift to impress or to bless?” Spending less is not about how much you spend, it is about how much you love.
Questions to Ponder:
1. What would you say were the key points in Matt’s sermon?
2. If someone you knew had the resources to grant your request asked you, “What do you really need?” What would you tell them? Does this item have a monetary value?
3. Read Matthew 6:19-24? In what ways do you think this passage helps us better understand Christmas and the concept of “spend less.”
4. What do you think the author of Advent conspiracy means by “It is not about ‘less’ it is about spending?”
5. In what ways does the Christmas story communicate the idea?
6. What are some ways that you can “spend less” but still give more?
Matthew 6:19-24; Luke 12:13-21; Philippians 4:10-12; 1 Timothy 6:6-10; Hebrews 13:5