Having enough. That may be the biggest single issue that leads to human conflict. Somebody is afraid of not having enough and so tries to make up the difference by taking from somebody else.

But Scripture tells us again and again that there is more than enough for everybody. In fact, we would do better to worry about how to best give stuff away than to concern ourselves with collecting more.

There's enough time right now for you to consider what you have as a follower of God, and what you might do to give away what you own.

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He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny. Then he called his disciples and said to them, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”

Mark 12:41-44

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It’s almost Christmas time. I remember reading an article several Christmases ago by an economist who theorized that if each and every one of us took all the money and energy we spend each year on Christmas stuff and focused all of it instead on appropriating food around the world, we could end world hunger almost overnight. Easily.

Think about that. The world having the power and the ability to celebrate Jesus’ birth, if even for just one year, by ending hunger on this planet. Right now. That’s pretty powerful. But would we?

For some, this might start to sound like a real sacrifice. Give up Christmas?! Surely not. But Jesus’ parable gets serious and challenges many of our easy assumptions of what sacrifice looks like when we live in abundance compared to those who have nothing.

I wonder if the parable in Mark’s Gospel might challenge each of us to imagine how Jesus would want his birth celebrated this year. Just something to think about.

Marc van Bulck

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God of justice and righteousness, align my heart this season. Help me to consider what I can do to help care for your children and your creation this day. I pray in Jesus' name. Amen

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Look around right now;
See all that you possess,
All that is yours.

Now remind yourself
That it all belongs to God;
It is in your hands
For just a moment.

Live your life today
For the abundance
Of grace that is yours

To give away.

Marc van Bulck

Marc van Bulck is the director of youth ministries at First Presbyterian Church in Bentonville, Arkansas. Marc loves media and storytelling. Some of his favorite hobbies include writing, watching movies, nerding out about Jim Henson, and getting coffee with his friends. He is also a magician.

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