A Gift From You

“. . . a gift from you . . .”


“Now, our God, we give you thanks, and we praise your glorious name.  Yet my people and I cannot really give you anything, because everything is a gift from you, and we have only given back what is yours already.”

(I Chronicles 29:13-14)

It was a gray, blah-looking sort of day outside last week, and the dreariness of the outside seemed to bleed right into the interior of the house.  Every room was infected by the blahness of the house’s external surroundings.  It was one of those winter days that just have to be endured – not very inspiring.  Too many of those days linked together can become a real problem.  As I walked through our house the sun was just settling behind the hills outside the kitchen window.  With one last sudden offering, the clouds parted just enough for the sun to catch a cluster of leaves from one of Patti’s houseplants hanging in the window.  That’s what caught my attention.  With the sun’s focused beam the leaf cluster was radiating like a neon light, screaming that the vibrancy of color would have the last say over the blahness of the gray day.  What a gift!  I barely had time to retrieve my camera and get off a few shots before the sun ducked beneath the horizon and the show was over – but what a show – what a gift from God!  It truly made my soul rejoice with a “Thank You!”

We’ve just come through a season leaving many feeling weary of gifting.  In such a season there are expectations for gifting and even rules or guidelines for gifting.  I guess we could call it a system of gifting that we’ve created, one that gets fueled and revved by the excesses of our consumerism. Now that we’re on this side of the whole experience, maybe it’s time to ask ourselves, “What did it  (our gifting experience) do for us?”  Did it revive us or exhaust us?  Did it fulfill us or disappoint us?  Did it make us more mindful of God’s gift of love in Christ we were invited to celebrate, or did it push that gift to the background?  Have we emerged from it more focused on drawing closer to God, closer to one another, and closer to our neighbor . . .?  Maybe before we get much further away from this past gifting season we ought to do some soul-searching and then dialogue with one another about our expectations for the future.

Gifts are really important, as we see from the scriptures.  God’s gifts help us remember and rejoice that we are God’s precious children.  Acknowledging God’s daily gifts can light up our day.  Gifting should help us celebrate that relationship with God and our relationship with one another.  Gifting should help us feel cherished.  I pray that God will help me celebrate gifts and gifting, and stay focused on their purpose.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,

Gary

Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church

Cross Lanes, West Virginia

Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit http://www.survivingteendepression.com.

My new book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at http://www.wipfandstock.com and http://www.amazon.com.

Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”

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~ by revgenelson on January 14, 2015.

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