Today is Thursday, December 21st
Light two purple candles and the pink candle.
Happy National Re-gifting Day!
The definition of re-gifting is to take something you have been given and wrap it up and give it to someone else.
Have you ever re-gifted something? What do you have that is worth re-gifting?
Read Luke 2:8-15
And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!”
When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” [ESV]
Restore us, O Lord, we pray,
bring us back to that place where we once met,
as shepherds to the stable after hearing angels sing.
Bring us back to that place when our love was fresh,
not embarrassed to express itself in praise to our heavenly King.
Restore us, O Lord, we pray.
Personalize it. How can your thoughts and these readings and prayers help you worship fully, give more, spend less and love all.
My name is Malia, and I have been blessed by a life-long relationship with the Christ-St. Paul’s family.
I am a teacher. It is my daily frame of reference. Not surprisingly, many of my perspectives are through the lens of teaching. Today’s reflection will again be through my teacher’s lens. Teaching has never been my job or career. It is my life’s work. God’s word in 1 Corinthians tells us, “But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that”. My gift is for teaching. People who knew me in my childhood say they could see it early on in my natural, easy way with children and my love for “playing school” with friends or even by myself in my room. I have strived to use that gift in a way that fulfills God’s purpose for my life and pass it on to others.
My students and I wrote goals for this school year in the first few days of school. My goals were to love my students unconditionally, provide support and positivity for my colleagues, and help students achieve their potential. I asked students to also write goals, and we shared those goals with others through a display on our door. We are reminded of those goals as we enter and exit each day, and anyone who comes to visit us can see how important those goals are to us. Many people stop to look and read, and many of my colleagues, in turn, chose to do a similar activity with their students.
In James 1:17, we read, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father…”. So, what are the gifts we have received from above, and how can we, in turn, regift or share them with others? We have received the gift of salvation, the gift of eternal life, the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the ultimate (re)gift, the gift of grace, entirely undeserved and un-earnable. Some things that I have that are worth regifting? Certainly. But how can we regift these to others? Sometimes I struggle with that. The world doesn’t make it easy. Every day it feels like the world is making it harder and harder to share these gifts with others. I admit that I don’t always feel welcome or even comfortable openly sharing my faith in certain situations. There have been times when I could feel the joy of these gifts welling up in my heart about to burst out, but I didn’t regift them out of fear of offending someone or appearing “unprofessional”. As I did some reading this week, my heart was pierced by this verse in Acts 11:17, “So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?” Ouch.
So, this Advent season, I am working on giving more of the gifts from God that cost me nothing. I am working on loving all, even the folks who get offended when I regift my faith, and worshipping fully offering all parts of myself, those that come naturally and those with which I still struggle. Perhaps the struggle is a gift worth regifting, too.