The Gifts We Give

     Gifts are great. Love to get 'em. Love to give 'em. Even non-Christians know it's inherently Christian to give and give generously. Fewer people know that it's just as important to receive gratefully. It completes the gift, actually, and fuels a beautiful cycle: we can only give what we have received.
That first Christmas gift was not completed when the baby was born. Somebody had to become responsible for the care and nurture of that child, and it was hard work. Babies are needy. But everything Jesus was ever given, he passed along others.

     Jesus never gave in a way that made people feel obligated or embarrassed. He was poor, for one thing. For another, his generosity was targeted at deep needs, a good goal for all of us. One of our deepest needs, ironically, is to feel capable of giving. So, Jesus often asked something of the recipient: give me a drink of water, rise up and walk, go show yourselves to the priests, I'm coming to your house as a guest..., not to make people feel they must earn his gift, but to say, in essence: I see your value and your abilities and empower you to share them. I give to you so that you can know the joy of giving too.

     God doesn't merely give to us, but through us, because our giving make complete God's gifts to us, and gives just a taste of the joy of divine generosity.

1 comment

  • Anton

    Anton South-Africa

    This is so true. The holy spirit spoke to me through the piece you have written above. We must learn how to receive, so that we can give what we have received so that we can plant love, so that the love can grow into more love. We must also do what Jesus did: meet this deepest need of people to feel capable of giving. Start the cycle...

    This is so true. The holy spirit spoke to me through the piece you have written above. We must learn how to receive, so that we can give what we have received so that we can plant love, so that the love can grow into more love. We must also do what Jesus did: meet this deepest need of people to feel capable of giving. Start the cycle...

Add comment