Gifts for Jesus
|Gifts for Jesus|
|Prep Time||2-5 Hours|
|The Point||Christ is the center of Christmas, and the reason we give.|
- Gift Boxes
- Identical Wrapping Paper
- A Wall
- The people will each need a camera of some kind.
How to Set Up
Make as many identical shoeboxes as you will have people participating. That they be identical as much as possible is important so that no one can know whose box is whose.
Other than that, you only need a gathering to bring and open the boxes, along with a wall to post pictures.
What Happens Then
The idea behind this event is that most of our Christmas celebrations have nothing to do with Christ, or others. They are about ourselves, consuming things, or at best family. This event is to try to make a conscious effort to celebrate Christmas in a way that people understand and are used to, but that still but's service and Christ at the center of it.
At the beginning of Advent, each person will get an identical shoebox. The idea is that we give gifts to each other at Christmas, but not to Jesus himself, whose birthday we celebrate. Since we can't give gifts directly to Jesus, each person will over the next month try to find someone who needs help, and give them a gift in the name of Christ.
If at all possible the gifts should be anonymous, and not to the Church itself. Even if given in person just say you're giving them a gift in tha name of Jesus. The more personal the better, but you can provide a list of known needs around the community with the shoebox if people need suggestions. A TV for someone who got their house broken into, diapers for a young mother trying to make ends meet, a new jacket for a homeless man, that sort of thing.
Each person is to take a picture of what they give, and put that picture in their shoebox along with a note about why they gave it. On the day of the party, everyone brings their shoeboxes and puts them under a tree. At some point in the party everyone gets a box from under the tree and opens it, reading what others gave for Christmas in the name of Jesus.
Those stories can then be shared and hung on a wall together as an evidence of what Jesus has inspired us to give. Then people take home the empty shoebox they opened to put more gifts for Jesus into until next Christmas.
The biggest problem is to convince people that Jesus deserves as much money in gifts as the other people in their lives. As strange as that sounds, and as much as we say Jesus is the center of Christmas, actually giving things in Jesus name takes people some convincing.
But once convinced, giving without any praise is very liberating. The main issue is maintaining it being anonymous, because if it isn't, people can use this as another competition and that isn't the point.
Hopefully, this can become a yearly tradition, where people give in Jesus name throughout the year and store them in a shoebox for God at Christmas.
Other Ideas that use this Topic
|A Lifestyle of Generosity||We are to live generously, giving to God's plan so that we and others can know God's love.||Message Idea|
|Giving Jesus our Treasure||Christmas is a time of giving our treasure to others in the name of Jesus.||Message Idea|
|What shall I Do?||What we have is really God's and is to be used wisely to further God's work.||Message Idea|