It's hard to focus on Advent things today, because other pressing concerns have occupied my mind ... namely its my birthday.
I love birthdays ... mostly because like Christmas, I enjoy receiving presents. But unlike the festive season, on my birthday I don't have to sit and wonder:
'Did i get him a card as well?'
Did I buy something for her too
and if so ... did I spend as much on her as she has done on me?'
Of course I realise that this is not a healthy way to view the giving and receiving of gifts ... but few of us seem immune from this. So many of us seem to feel a perpetual need to balance the cosmic scales of our giving.
God has other ideas.
At the birthday of Jesus the world receives the greatest gift of all
God takes on the risk and vulnerability of flesh
And there is no way that we can ever balance the munificence of the giver of the gift.
At Easter time, God does it all over again, with another unrepeatable act of generosity.
It is a great moment of personal awareness when he discover and admit our finitude
when we confess that there is nothing we can give to God to balance up the abundance of heaven's giving. But somewhere in the bleak mid winter of this advent time I can hear the soft refrain of carols ... 'what can I give him ... give him my heart.'
by Craig Gardiner