RSS Feed

What can I give, poor as I am?

Published: 6th November 2022

Archdeacon NikkiAn article from Archdeacon Nikki Groarke for December editions of parish magazines. 

Many will be feeling the pinch this Christmas. Inflation, rising energy prices and mortgages, the day-to-day grocery shop costing so much more than it did this time last year, causing deep-seated anxiety about where this will all lead. This makes for troubling times. Some will be fretting over how they can possibly give Christmas gifts to their families, not wanting kids to go short, but wrestling with the balance between putting food on the table and clothes on their bodies and buying that expensive gadget or toy “all their friends have got”.

Perhaps this cost-of-living ‘permacrisis’ gives us an opportunity to rethink our perspectives. At Christmas we remember the incarnate Jesus, born into poverty as a refugee with nowhere to go. Dependant on the kindness of strangers, his parents camped out in an outhouse for the first days of his life, thankful for the basics of a roof over their heads.  Yes, we know Jesus also as king, reigning in glory, but this season is when we see him with nothing – helpless, dependent, but loved beyond measure.

Human needs at their most basic are for warmth, shelter, food and relationship.  Even in these stretched times, most of us can give thanks for these staples, and reach out to those who don’t have them, as an innkeeper did for Mary and Joseph.  And rather than buying expensive gifts this year, which we can’t really afford, and which will often soon be discarded, perhaps can we give the most precious gift of love, or relationship, our presence instead of our presents?

What can I give? I can give my heart – give my heart in compassion to those more needy than me, give my heart in love for my family and friends, give my heart in pursuing justice and freedom for those who are marginalised or oppressed. I can give my heart in worship and adoration of the Christ-child, who gave his all for me.

What can I give? More than I could possibly imagine, when I stop to think. Giving our heart costs nothing materially, yet it costs everything relationally.  Giving our heart this Christmas could be transformational for us, for our families and friends, for our communities, for the world.

Christmas is about the most wonderful gift of all – God’s gift of his Son to us. Let’s remember that as we ponder what we can give, poor as we are, and let that lift our perspective to be like that of shepherds and angels, who rejoiced, and gave themselves, gave their hearts, gave what they could, were present.

May you have a blessed Christmas, rejoicing that you are loved, and embracing the presence of Immanuel.

Archdeacon Nikki

Page last updated: Sunday 6th November 2022 4:45 PM

Latest News

Call for prayer ahead of the General Election

23rd May 2024

The bishops of the Church of England have issued a call to put prayer and participation at the heart of the General Election campaign as the UK prepares to go to the polls....

Sign up for the Diocesan Mailing

The Diocesan Mailing is produced every two weeks and contains news, training opportunties and events from around the diocese and wider Church of England. Sign up here.

Send us your news

If you have a news story you'd like to share with us, please email Sam Setchell / 07852 302516. If you have an upcoming event you'd like to publicise, you can add it to our calender.     

Latest Video Reflection

Every two weeks we produce a short video reflection. These cover a range of topics and themes and are published on the website and our social media channels.

Powered by Church Edit