Before Jesus would teach his offensive message that it’s difficult for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven, His mother Mary would hum the same message. With tender hands on her womb she would sing, “He has sent the rich away empty.” (Lk. 1:53)
It’s not a message we aspire to, but our Savior repeatedly taught that wealth blinds, chokes, and misleads us. Money fools us into believing we are complete when we are, in fact, broken. That we are healthy when we are dead. That we are safe though we are in peril. But the poor know the truth of these lessons intuitively because their meager wallets teach it to them daily. It’s a lesson no amount of treasure can buy.
This year, rethink the way you Christmas and be poor.
No matter what your income level is, take an inventory of how much money you have and give some of it away. Give enough that you wince. Not only are you following Jesus’ teaching that it’s “more blessed to give than receive”, (Acts 20:35) but you are making yourself like Jesus as well, who “though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.” (2 Cor. 8:9)
When you prepare for Christmas by making yourself poor, while the rich may walk away from the manger with empty hearts, yours will overflow.
…He has sent the rich away empty.
What does today’s reading tell you about people? (Yourself and others.)
What does today’s reading tell you about God?
How do these ideas change the way you Christmas this year?