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#13 Christmas Gift-Giving

Summary:

Why is gift-giving such an important part of Christmas? What does it have to do with our lives as Christians?

Questions:

As you watch the episode, consider:

1. Why is gift giving so important for us to do a Christians?

2. When we receive gifts from others, what should we do?

3. How can we offer up gifts to God?  What does He in return do with the gifts we have given Him?

4. When we give gifts of alms to those in need, what should we do and not do?  How does the example of Saint Theophanes the Confessor serve as a wonderful model for our lives?

Check out these model lesson plans / retreat sessions for JOY and GOYA!

Links:

And here are some articles you may find to be helpful:

1. Orthodox Youth Ministry Blogspot, "What Does it Mean to 'Go' to Church?"

2. Mystagogy, "The Byzantine Origins of the Christmas Tree"

3. Mystagogy, "On Giving Alms With Humility: The Example of Saint Theophanes the Confessor"

4. Mystagogy, "The Beneficial Tale of Saint Peter the Tax-Collector"

5. Mystagogy, "Saint Philaret the Almsgiver"

Script:

Hey everybody this is Steve, and Christmas is right around the corner. You know what that means, presents. For all those keeping score at home, I think I'd like some sweaters, some t-shirts and a pony. Definitely a pony. Why is gift giving such an important part Christmas? Well as Christians our whole lives revolve around gift giving. Let's go back to the beginning. Without God there would be no universe. He made everything out of nothing, He gave all creation the gift of existence, and of course there was a time before we existed.

When our parents had bad hair, and worse mustaches, and then God gave us the gift of life. Not to mention all the other gifts God has given us; family and friends, sunrises and sunsets, the sound of trees, the smell of freshly baked bread. And what are we supposed to do with all those gifts? Give them back. When we gather for liturgy were not simply offering God bread and wine, we're offering him, everything; ourselves, each other, the whole universe! And what does God give us in return? Another gift.

He takes everything that we offer to him and lifts it up Liberating it from death, saving it from sin, He takes all of us, and He makes us members of the body of his only begotten Son, our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ. He makes us Church. God started it all with a simple gift and when we give it back to Him, He gives it back to us, transformed, better than ever. He takes our lives and joins them to His eternal life. He turns our fallen world, and transforms it, into His eternal kingdom. So let's Be the Bee, and give ourselves, each other, and our whole lives, to Christ our God. Be the Bee and Live Orthodoxy! Remember to Like and Subscribe! I'll see you all, next week!

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