Wise men followed a star...
...and yesterday we all received "star gifts" at church; gifts of the Spirit to encourage, enable and enliven us, as we step from the manger to the year.
Our gifts are written on the backs of cardboard stars; we pick them from the plate without knowing what we'll find. My mother's recent ones have included "flexibility," much needed in the face of change, and "wonder," much desired. But now her church's changes have come and gone. The building is closed and Mum will join a new congregation on her return to England. So, just in case she thought herself too old to be valued there, God has added the gift of "service."
A good friend smiled at hearing Mum's gift, then laughed while telling that her star bore the word "laughter," again. She'd received the same gift two years ago, and laughter has never been something she's struggled with. But perhaps God likes to remind her, He enjoys the gift too; one my friend loves to honor and to share.
As for me, I received "tolerance." Mum smiled at that too. I thought how often I've heard that well-used expression, "If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for everything." And I thought of the other side of the coin; "If you stand for everything, you'll forget how to fall on your knees." So I'll hold my gift of tolerance close, maybe borrow Mum's flexibility, and fall on my knees in prayer. Then I'll let my eyes light with wonder, as I sit at table with sinners, where I belong and my Savior chooses to eat. I suspect there'll be plenty of laughter served with that meal.
What gift have you received? What will you share this year?
May God bless you with more than you expect or can ask for.
And may you enjoy a Happy Epiphany!