It is a commonplace to deplore the commercialization of Christmas. We see the decorations that appear in October, the advertisements urging us to spend, save, and give, all without reference to Jesus, who is the “reason for the season.” But the wonder of God’s lavish generosity in giving his only Son is so intrinsic to the celebration that it is impossible to miss the meaning of Jesus’ birth. We all know in our heart that giving generously is what defines Christmas — Immanuel, God with us — the amazing generosity of Christ entering the world, living among us and dying to take our curse.
It is the incarnation that illustrates just how generous our God is. Although, in the words of the hymn we are “self-destroyed,” our Creator has given himself so that we might have new life. The Apostle Paul captured the essence of the incarnation when he wrote:
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)
The Redeemer family of churches and ministries exists to share the amazing riches of Christ with our congregants and neighbors in New York City so that many more can experience the life-changing power of the incarnation. Literally thousands of people from our community are living examples of the hope of Christmas all across the city. People from every Redeemer congregation serve with HFNY affiliates, provide toys for His Toy Store, serve on Sundays for special Advent and Christmas Eve services, open their homes to Community Groups, and give generously to the Diaconate Mercy Fund and other worthy ministries and causes. Christmas is when we are both giving the joy and hope that comes from Immanuel and experiencing it for ourselves.
It brings both a humility and a hallelujah! Christmas is a time to give thanks that the God of the universe came to dwell among us, to be one of us, to die for us, and to save us. It reminds us of his incredible generosity, and it is His great love that motivates our hearts to be more generous. As we give thanks for all the ways God is working in and through each of us and our church, remember that it is our generosity that God uses to extend the hope, joy, and peace of the gospel to our city.
In order to do the work God has called us to, Redeemer churches and ministries count on individuals like you. So as you think about how you can generously share the hope of Christmas, please be generous with your gifts to Redeemer too. It is the faithful support of many at the end of each year that has allowed Redeemer’s ministry to flourish, and year end giving is when we most count on the generosity of the Redeemer community to help meet our financial needs. Thank you for all the ways you faithfully and generously support Redeemer, and have a joyful and peaceful Christmas!
Across the family of Redeemer churches, we receive over 30% of our annual giving in the month of December. To meet our combined budget, a total of ~$5.9M is needed by the end of 2018.
To make a year end gift, visit: redeemer.com/give.