"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation;
the old has gone, the new has come!"
2 Corinthians 5:17
I wholeheartedly cling to this verse, and it's true meaning, with celebration and appreciation. I believe it to be a wonderful promise from God of our changed position before Him, after accepting His son as our Savior. I genuinely pray that you and your family understand it, or come to understand it, in the same way. On a more trivial level, however, this verse also comes to my mind before any major gift-giving holiday.
My little boy's birthday is tomorrow. The new is coming...the old must go. His 'games shelf' is already full. His lego bin is overflowing. He has cars, costumes, and craft supplies he's barely used. He's gotten too old for Baby Einstein, and too big for his Tricycle. Many of his stuffed animals are suffering from love deprivation, and several of his footballs are longing for someone, anyone other than a three-year-old, to throw them. (Sidenote: My three-year-old throws a football the same way he throws a baseball. It doesn't work so well.) The bottom line is that we have some "old" to pass on. Not to pitch, but to pass on.
In one of my all-time favorite books, "The Ministry of Motherhood," Sally Clarkson shares that mothers should teach their children to serve others. My ultimate goal as a mom, in everything that I do, is to help my little boy know and understand the person of Jesus. He was a giver. His focus was always on others. Matthew 20:28 tells us that, "...the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." I think this was probably the case even on His birthday. Now to teach this to my child...
Moms are known for multitasking. Two birds. One stone. So, boiled down, here's how it works in our house: Before new toys are received, my kiddo is asked to pick a few items to pass along to another child (give). Together we reassemble, clean, and sanitize those toys, doing our best to make them shine and sparkle again, while I remind him of the reasons behind this small service. Then, right before his little arms are showered with "new," I help him to carry "the old" to our local donation drop-off.
The old has gone, the new will come...and a heart is being shaped.
DONATE NEAR YOU:
Goodwill: http://locator.goodwill.org/Toys for Tots: http://www.toysfortots.org/donate/toys.asp
Salvation Army: http://www.satruck.org/search