Each year, around Epiphany, a basket of stars is passed around at our church. Each star has a word written on it, and these gifts are our "star gifts," intended to inspire and encourage us throughout the year to come. Worshipers are asked not to look inside the basket, but simply to reach in and receive, with thanks, whatever the Lord should choose to offer them.
Last year, my word was "tolerance."
Those who know me will know I spend way too many hours on the internet, where I have lots of unseen friends of many and varied religious and social persuasions. I enjoy their conversation, their friendship, and the generous welcome they offer me. But sometimes I hear my Christian friends voice that popular aphorism: "If you don't stand up for something you'll fall for anything." Then I wonder if they might be looking at me, criticizing me for excessive tolerance perhaps? But if tolerance is a gift...
If tolerance is a gift, perhaps God gave it to remind me of an equal and opposite aphorism: If I stand too often on principal, when will I fall to my knees? And if I stand too tall in judgement, when will I answer the call to sit down; because, after all, that's where my Savior is found - sitting at table with sinners, where we all belong.
This year my gift is "discipleship," so I pray I might be a good disciple of the King, and be tolerant and true.
What gift do you think might offered be on your star?