We prepare in Advent to celebrate the incredible gift of Christ’s birth and anticipate his return among very real threats of scarcity, depletion, and other messages of “not enough-ness.” In grace, this season reminds us to be vigilant to the subtle signs of Christ’s light breaking through the shadows in this world. Advent declares that even in the most difficult times, hopefulness for the future can be cultivated and energized anew when we pay close attention to our needs and the needs of our community.
Advent invites us to notice where God offers the potential for renewal and restoration in our lives in a world where we are too often asked to operate on “overdrive.” This can be difficult. Many of us are exhausted by this year’s set of yet more unprecedented circumstances that continue to require so much. To give more than what we have, to exist in of a state of depletion, does not yield a sense of more than enough.
The witness of scripture is that it is impossible to find “enough-ness” within ourselves, but God gives us everything we need. God has declared us to be “beloved, with whom God is well pleased.” When we are aware of how much God has given to us, we are able to faithfully identify our actual capacity to give and then give from a sense of plenty, of “more than enough-ness.”
Whatever that plentifulness may look like from person to person, God makes it bountiful. When we identify and hold the bounds and limits of how much we can give, we can trust that we are enough. In that trust, we are able “show up” better for ourselves and those around us.
This Advent season invites us to turn our attention inwards to prepare anew to receive God’s gracious gift of Jesus and renew our commitment to tangible, impactful giving of ourselves, our time, talents, and treasure. Together, we can be more than enough to do the work that needs to be done.
What spiritual preparations and mindsets are necessary for you to practice sustainable giving and receiving, evenbeyond this season?
What values and boundaries will you lovingly recommit to as you prepare for the year ahead?