It was my birthday recently and I was blessed by the generosity of others. The cards I received expressed generous birthday greetings; full of kindness and love. The gifts, generously given, were things I truly do enjoy (mostly things I enjoy eating!).
At its best our gift-giving is an “echo of God’s life in us“. For God overflows with generosity, so much so that, on the cross, through Jesus, God gives God’s own self. And through the cross we receive forgiveness and the gift of God’s Spirit poured out into our hearts (c.f. Rom 5).
The “true God gives so we can become joyful givers and not just self-absorbed receivers” (ibid). Learning from Christ, we too become generous people who forgive others. Forgiveness is such a vital part of our identity that in our daily prayer we say: “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us“.
Someone recently said to me that Christian congregations should be “pockets of hope”. May we at DMC be a “pocket of hope”, showing the world the way of forgiveness.
 Volf, Miroslav. Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace. Zondervan, 2009.