By Lilly Lewin
Last week we hosted a Sacred Space prayer experience in our home called “RECEIVE THE GIFT.” All the prayer stations were about the gifts we give and receive at Christmas.
I find I am really good at giving gifts, but I am not always great at receiving them.
Too often I want to make excuses that I don’t really need a gift, or that I already have enough, or others need things more than I do. Often I am not even aware of the gifts I need. Often I am too busy or too tired or I’m just not paying attention so I don’t actually see the gifts that God has for me.
Author CS Lewis says,” if our hands are full of too many packages, we cannot receive any new gifts.”
What Gifts do you need this Christmas?
What Gifts do you need to Receive?
Consider the gifts received by those in the story of the first Christmas.
Zechariah received the gift of silence…not being able to speak for at least nine months while he waited for his son John to be born.
His wife Elizabeth received the gift of surprise after waiting and wanting a child for so long,
And she received the an unexpected gift of the Holy Spirit when Mary came to visit
Mary. Mary received many gifts in the arrival of Jesus.
The gift of saying YES to God and allowing God to change her entire life.
The gift of Reflection. As she pondered all that happened after she birthed the baby. The gift of
Shepherds with news of Angel hosts.
Magi from far away lands bringing gifts
Prophecies from old saints in the temple at Jesus’s dedication.
Joseph had to receive the gift of interruption. And the gift of paying attention and listening …
To his dreams
To the voice of God…
Choosing to not run ahead and doing what he wanted to do, but actually listening to God’s instructions even in a dream!
The Shepherds. Ah the shepherds! just regular folks doing their regular job, minding their own business. They received the gifts of awe and wonder! As they sat by their fires on the hillside while their sheep grazed in the fields, they received the gift of GREAT NEWS from the Angel hosts that a baby was born in Bethlehem. Not just any baby, but the Savior!
The Shepherds didn’t stay out there and second guess their gift. They didn’t sit by the fire and talk about this gift.
Nope, they ran to Bethlehem in expectation! They searched for the gift wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. They truly wanted to find and receive the Gift that was, and is THE GIFT to and for the entire world…The GIFT for ALL of us. Emmanuel, God with us!
“Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.
19-20 Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they’d been told! Luke 2:15-20 The Message
So as we wrap our presents and put finishing touches on our gifts, lets consider the gifts we need this Christmas. Let’s choose to put down the packages that are cluttering our lives and weighing us down. Let’s open our hands and receive the new gifts God has for us. And let’s run to Bethlehem and truly receive the gift of God with us! And then pass that Gift along!
freerangeworship.com The Gift Sacred Space will be available soon!