Giving this Christmas

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Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
Mark 12:41-44
When you give, are you giving a small portion out of your wealth or in a way that requires some sacrifice? I’m not necessarily talking about money here. We are called not just to give of our finances, but also our other treasures, our time, and our talents: our whole lives. Do you set aside time to serve others only when you have lots of extra free time, or do you see a need and help even when you don’t really have much time to spare?
You might think that you don’t have anything worth giving, but with a little bit of creative thought and sacrifice I’m sure you can all think of something. Brighten someone’s day, come alongside the suffering, help the downtrodden and shine Christ’s light into the world this Christmas season!  

Dig Deeper

This week take a few minutes to brainstorm ways that you can give to someone who needs some joy this Christmas season. Here are some prompts to help you get started:
Time: volunteer at a food bank, church or feeding center, rake leaves for an elderly or disabled neighbor, go Christmas caroling with a group of friends.   
Talent: If you’re crafty make things to donate to a local charity, if you play an instrument visit a nursing home or offer to play in a Christmas program at church, if you like to cook bake some cookies to give to someone you know who is grieving a loss this year.
Treasure: Donate some of your toys, books or clothes to a local charity, make a monetary donation in someone’s name instead of giving gifts, send a care package to a college student during finals week.
Look for opportunities this month to help those in need and be charitable to those around you!  
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