Prayer for the day
Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. Indeed, our heart rejoices in him, for in his holy Name we put our trust. Let your loving-kindness, O LORD, be upon us, as we have put our trust in you.
Scripture for the day
I love Christmas. I remember waiting up on Christmas Eve until my eyes felt like they were going to bleed. I hated to go to sleep that night. I couldn’t do it. I was so excited for the gifts that were coming in the morning. Now, as an adult, I still get that tingly feeling when I know a gift is coming. Even better is an unexpected gift.
How much more must God love giving gifts? The scriptures are full of this gifting God blessing people for no good reason, just because he wants to. In the story in Numbers today, God gives the Levite tribe 48 towns. 48 towns! Yes, they will serve God in the tabernacle and be priests before him, but God’s gift is still just as marvellous. He gives them an inheritance they are allowed to enjoy. It’s beautiful.
Jesus talks about gifts in the story in Mark as well. But Jesus’ words are a little more ominous. Jesus claims that gifts are given, but that many gifts are given to those who have left other comforts behind for the sake of the good news that Jesus is king. This is not a quid pro quo arrangement, however. These are still undeserved gifts. They are gifts befitting those who have abandoned everything for Christ. They are gifts that not only make up for the sacrifice (that would be less gift and more remuneration)…they hugely exceed whatever we could give up.
Jesus in the Second Testament is not saying we can earn our stripes. He’s saying that the good gifts of God come, and that those who are ready to receive those good gifts are those who do not hold on to the things that would prevent them from being willing to receive.
May we be people who are ready for the gifts of God, because we’ve taken our eyes off of anything that would hinder us from receiving.