The Advent Calendar, Opening a Door to Giving Opportunities
Advent is a season of expectations and waiting in preparation for the celebration of Christmas. Have you thought of it in terms of a stewardship and giving messages? As the liturgical year begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas, it’s an opportunity to focus on learning to give small gifts as we open each door on an advent calendar. Keeping an Advent calendar, lighting an advent wreath, and Advent devotionals are part of preparing for Christmas and developing ourselves to notice giving opportunities.
What if each day you also devoted time to the gift of a random act of kindness oriented around the core of time, talent and treasure? What if each week when you light a new Advent candle you were going to focus on one theme or area of stewardship or generosity such as Family, Friends, Co-workers, or the Needy?
There are so many opportunities to do “a little something“ to help your community, your neighbors, or strangers and feel the joy of giving. The Internet is full of ideas that may be easy for you and your family to consider. They include:
Donating food to an animal shelter, or supplying other needs.
Donating clothing as you clean out closets in anticipation of new gifts of clothing.
Filling a gift wish for a child.
Connecting with a local senior center for a day and gift a day, a week, or month to drive people to appointments, sit and chat, or be a friend to someone.
Do something wild like putting a candy cane on every car in a parking lot. (along with a business card for the church).
Be a Secret Santa.
Buy lunch for the next person in line at the fast food or convenience store.
Give a Bible away to someone.
I think you get the idea. It’s about placing your ideas into action oriented around your time, talent and treasure as we anticipate the greatest gift we’ve ever received. Challenge yourself for 25 days to come up with some small random act of kindness of generosity as we celebrate the season.
Jack Brooks, Executive Director Mid-Atlantic United Methodist Foundation