It's Christmas, a very traditional time of the year when we give - and receive - gifts.
Did you know that gift-giving is a two-way street? First and foremost, giving a gift is an act of love. Someone gives you something, whether its a huge toy, expensive jewelry, a card or a compliment, because they care about you and want you to be happy,
Sometimes, though, our ability to receive gifts could use a little boost. What is your "normal" response when someone says, "You look pretty today," or "My you look good?" Isn't our response often, "Oh, this old dress" or in some way we sort of shrug off the wonderful offering just presented (see the word present in there?). We have a hard time receiving compliments, a hard time accepting presents, a difficult time receiving love.
Sometimes, in our eyes, the actual gift falls short of the mark. The sweater isn't the right color, the ring isn't quite what we were hoping for, or the whatever - it just .... isn't .... quite....right. But, we say to ourselves, "It's the thought that counts, right?"
Well, actually, it is.
In both scenarios above, the gift giver put some thought into the gift, whether words or otherwise, spent time picking it out, paid some money to purchase it, or built of courage to give you a compliment. So, yes, it is the thought that counts.
So... what should we do?
Here's a simple suggestion: Whenever you are given a gift, a present, offering, hand-out, donation, or award, take a deep breath and look inside for a moment before responding and instead of saying no (in not so many words or funny facial expressions), look inside and then say yes! Say, "Thank You" and enjoy the spirit of the moment!!!
Receive the gift and the thought behind it, receive the joy that comes with it. Receive graciously.
In today's Faith & Yoga class we will be meditating on receiving graciously. Move a little, and receive God's gifts graciously. 4 pm today in the Family Life Center.
P.S. Thanks Pastor Mark for another wonderful sermon. I hope you don't mind my paraphrasing and adding my 2 cents.
Classes at back at CRC