I Found You Giving: An Advent Meditation by Pastor Ruben Ortiz

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During the time of Advent, Esperanza has invited clergy members to contribute guest columns reflecting on the meaning of the season and values we learn through the fulfillment of the birth of Christ. This is the second in our series.

Who is the most generous person you know?  I don’t mean the Mother Theresa’s nor Bill Gates’ of this world, but rather the most generous person you actually know?  Someone such as a family member, friend, or colleague.

We are challenged with a culture which values having over giving, obtaining over sharing.  We even have pithy clichés such as “clothes makes the man,” “whoever dies with the most toys win”, and “shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist.” This worldview has instilled in us a mentality that what we possess is what gives us value.  What if it were better to give than to receive?  In other words, what if we determined during this season to give away what we already have?  More of who we are?

One of the passages we reflect upon during this season is found in II Peter 3:8-15.  Verse 10 indicates that His day “will come like a thief…”  There are two other occasions in the New Testament which indicates his arrival in similar fashion.  What comes to mind is unexpectedly, quietly, subtlety, and maybe even subversively.  The point of the illustration is in part to encourage preparedness so that we’re not surprised at his arrival(s) and that we’re doing what’s right when he does arrive.

During this season, consider not just giving to those that are easy to give to nor those who are convenient to give to, but to the furthest out.  Those who would help us stretch our faith by our sacrificial giving.  Some of that giving could come from the storehouses of our material things and others could come out of who we are.  Some giving could cost you some money but other options could be of your time or talent.  Even gestures are a form of giving, whether a handshake, a hug, a high five, or a smile.  They may be random acts initially, but the idea is to begin a lifestyle of giving, so that when He arrives (and he does arrive quite frequently), he may find us with a generous spirit.

I asked you to think about the most generous person you know.  For further inspiration, ask yourself why are they generous? And if you are really serious about a lifestyle change, then I would challenge you to ask them directly why they are generous.  Then share how they have inspired you to give and that you’re making a commitment to give more.

Pastor Ruben Ortiz
Board Chair for Timoteo Football League