We hear often that “it is better to give than receive". While this is usually the case, it is not always true. Granted, focusing on giving shields us from a selfish, self-centered focus however it is important to recognize that receiving is also a critical component of the process. Sometimes it is better to receive.
Some gifts we receive without realization...a smile from the over-worked grocery store clerk, a prevented mail mix-up from the postal worker, lettuce harvested by field hands, messes tidied by behind-the-scenes mothers... Some of the gifts we receive we take for granted...sunrises every morning, spring rains and singing sparrow, ankles that steady us as we walk over uneven ground, a digestion system that works even when we overload it with sugar... And we have all been given gifts, personal gifts, we did nothing to earn. For some it is the ability to make music (not mine!). For some it is the ability to make friends. For others it is athleticism, academic prowess, or language acquisition. Whatever the gift, receiving it brings us joy.
It is in the receiving that we experience joy. We can refuse to receive. Not everyone enjoys the sunrise every morning. (Hard to believe, I know.) We can ignore the clerk’s smile, sit at home instead of using our ankles, or shelve the talents we’ve been given. When we fail to receive the gift, we close the door to the joy the gift could bring. Receiving gifts brings us joy.
Joy to the world! There is a gift that can bring joy to all. Everyone. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). Heavenly Father gave us His Son. His was the gift of all gifts, a gift that will bring joy and peace, comfort and strength, guidance and direction, and love, lots and lots of love, to all who receive it.
The key is the receiving. We must receive Christ to experience the blessings of the Father’s gift. Receiving the gift of Christ will bring joy to us and glory to the Father. This year we urge you to receive the gift of the Son. In 2022, may we receive CHRIST.