Several years ago our family decided to change our gift-giving routine surrounding Christmas. I think it was a combination of maturing children and not being able to find the Christmas tree underneath the pile of presents the previous year.
Anyway, we stopped giving gifts you have to go out (or shop on line) to buy, wrap, unwrap, clean up after and often return or exchange after-Christmas. We decided to spend both our time and our Christmas money giving what we all really wanted most anyway—time with each other making memories.
So now we usually enjoy one or two Christmas Eve services (sometimes at different churches), share a special Christmas Eve New England dinner (family tradition), sing carols, read stories, sleep in on Christmas morning (oh, the joys of older children), enjoy a wonderful brunch together, catch a movie and generally spend a lot more time hanging out and having fun around Christmas day.
When you stop to think about it, isn’t that really what Christmas is about—God, the most relational being in the universe giving himself, his time, his attention, his love and his heart in order to be present with us, making our lives and memories full of the very best?
We really don’t need gifts wrapped up in paper and ribbon in order to give the best we have at Christmas. But we will need hearts filled with the life of Jesus no matter what kinds of gifts we give if people are going to experience THE BEST gift this Christmas—the Word made flesh and dwelling among us (John 1:14).
So let me invite you to give what God gave and continues to give every Christmas and all year long—His Son Jesus Christ, His Holy Spirit and time together so that the world could look at His Gift and know the Father who gave it (John 14:9).
That’s the reason Mosaic is committed (despite the inconvenience, cost and challenge of doing church downtown) to relational ministry. That’s why we try to focus on ministries and experiences that give us time together and life with people needing the Author of Life.
So consider this your personal invitation to give the very best you have this Christmas—yourself. Come and join God’s people at one or more of the following self-giving experiences this Christmas.
Men’s Connection Tonight, Thursday, November 10th, at Pioneer Pathways Community Room @ 222 S. Howard, 6-8 p.m. We’ll be enjoying homemade chili, cornbread (with some of my homegrown honey), games (you bring them, men) and conversation with the male residents of Pioneer Pathways. Come join the fun!
Neighborhood Gift Giving: This is a two-part experience.
- Women’s Connection on Saturday, December 19th at 9:00 a.m. will meet at the Vineyard Café at Healing Rooms to fellowship, enjoy some food and assemble 300 invitational gift packages for our downtown neighbors.
- Then from noon-1:00m. kids, teens, young/middle aged/senior adults will meet at Mosaic Offices (608 W. 2nd Ave., Suite 203) to hand those gifts and invitations out to 300 of our closest neighbors. Every year we’ve done this it has been a great way to connect with our community and really see the culture we’re committed to living Christ among.
Christmas Eve Service at 4:00 p.m. at the Healing Rooms. We’ve titled our service “Stable Talk: Down-to-earth Dialogues with God.” Invite your friends and bring the whole family to a special time of music, dramatic monologues and meaningful dialogue with God. Some of the best connections with God actually happen in unlikely places. Just ask everyone in the stable that night! (Printed invitations will be available the next two Sundays as well as an electronic invite we’ll send you to forward to people you know.)
BOXING DAY, DECEMBER 26th
Unless you grew up in Canada, the United Kingdom or Ireland, you probably think Boxing Day has to do with the sport of boxing. Wrong…unless you are fighting the after-Christmas sale crowds. Traditionally in England, Boxing Day was a day off for servants and the day when they received a ‘Christmas Box’ from the master. The servants would also go home on Boxing Day to give ‘Christmas Boxes’ to their families.
So what better way to celebrate “Boxing Day” than, well, boxing. The following two events will do just that—box up food and gifts for others to make their Christmas last just a little longer… and their relationship with God a lot longer.
En Cristo Serve—Saturday, December 26. We meet at Whitworth University Student Commons/Dining Hall to pack lunches at 1:00 p.m. Then we take those lunches down to the Park Tower Apartments across from the Convention Center on Riverfront Ave., hand them out and brighten the day of the residents we meet. If you would like to give the gift of yourself and food to these dear people, please let us know you are planning to help by emailing
Pioneer Pathways Apartment After Christmas Lunch: Also at 12:00 noon, Saturday, December 26th we’ll be sharing a light lunch with our neighbors and friends at Pioneer Apartments (222 S. Howard). This Boxing Day we’ll be “un-box” a lot of…well, you’ll have to come and see. If you would like to be a part of this gift-giving experience, please let me know at
We’ll need about 6-8 people serving at this event and more to supply some crockpot soups & bread.
Thank you for giving the best this Christmas—Jesus and yourself.