And the crowds asked him, “What then should we do?” – Luke 3:10
We continue with our theme Esperar – to anticipate, to wait, to hope, to expect. This Sunday we focus our attention on hope. One way of celebrating Jesus’ birth is through sharing our time and resources out of the gifts that we have been given by God to bring hope to those in need.
It seems at this time of year God pulls on our heart strings to pay attention to those who need help. You don’t have to look far and there is an opportunity to give of our time or our resources. But we are often stretched thin in our time, and we can’t afford to give to all the charities all the time. What should we do?
In Sunday’s reading John the Baptist offers some helpful advice. He reminds us that, in our journey of faith to God’s kingdom, that the way we behave, and act is an expression of what we believe.
John calls on us to be generous in our giving, but if we look a little closer at what he is saying, he is challenging us to look beyond just one generous gift. He is calling us to change how we live our lives.
The writer of Luke is calling us to never have more than one coat while others are cold and exposed. He is calling us to never collect more food that we need while others go hungry. He is telling us to accept the money we have earned honestly but no more and to treat people fairly and with dignity no matter our status in life.
This is how we prepare for the advent of Jesus’ birth. This is how we show that we are thankful for Christ’s grace and forgiveness. This is how we walk the walk in faith by accepting the fact that God does not want the dollar we put in the red kettle or the $10 we put in the offering plate or the $20 or $100 check we write to the homeless shelter. Those are very kind and helpful. But they are not what God wants of us. God does not want 50% our money, God wants 100% of ourselves. The Good News is that God gives 100% of love for us through Jesus Christ, even when we don’t give 100% of ourselves. And, for this we say thanks be to God and live in Christ’s hope. Amen.