Every year, my late mother-in-law would prepare an Advent calendar for her children. During the month of December, every night after dinner, the kids would get to open up the little compartment for that day and pull out a piece of scripture, a meaningful quote, a prayer, or whatever it may have been that she had painstakingly written out, rolled, tied, and placed over the course of the previous year. On the floor in front of the Advent calendar would be a pile of twenty-five, individually wrapped, numbered gifts — one for every day of December up to Christmas. These gifts would range from little knickknacks to handmade items to not-too-small gift cards…. All in all, it was an EXTREMELY generous display of gift giving.
However, what I never appreciated until now, as I expect my first child and my wife and I are pondering what our new ‘family traditions’ will be, is how much TIME, THOUGHT, and ENERGY she put into every gift and every verse (by the way, they were all different for each child) … She was so committed to bringing joy to her family that she made a staggering amount of effort look not only easy, but exciting.
When we think about generosity, we almost always think of the monetary value associated with the word. We almost never think about the other ways we can be, and are called to be, generous.
My job, as a Director of Stewardship, is to simply ask others to participate with God in His work through offering involvement opportunities and instruction in biblical stewardship, while encouraging intercession and investment in Water Mission’s ministry.* Only one of those four “I” words involves money. Everything else is about becoming increasingly committed to Christ and to the ministry of bringing hope through providing safe water and the Living Water of the Gospel in every facet of our lives.
That is why we created our “Christmas Catalog” — an avenue for you to participate in biblical stewardship by not only providing hope to people who lack safe water around the world, but also by intentionally stewarding your loved ones into closer relationship with the Lord by inviting them to get involved in the ministry of Water Mission.
We hope you have a joyous Advent and Christmas season!
*Rodin, R. Scott, and Gary G. Hoag. The Sower: Redefining the Ministry of Raising Kingdom Resources. ECFA Press, 2010.