Pause

The best gifts are those received from someone who knows us well. These are the kinds of gifts that we celebrate with great gladness!

Take time to consider the gifts you have received from the One who knows you best, and celebrate God's great goodness and generosity.

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Listen

Now standing there were six stone water jars for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to them, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. He said to them, “Now draw some out, and take it to the chief steward.” So they took it. When the steward tasted the water that had become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the steward called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and then the inferior wine after the guests have become drunk. But you have kept the good wine until now.” Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee, and revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

John 2:6-11

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Think

Imagine drinking water that you had washed your hands in, or that others had washed their hands in. Throughout the day, Jews ceremonially washed their hands to make themselves pure in God’s eyes. When Jesus told the servants to take this water to the steward, it was likely shocking. When he declared it the best wine yet, they were probably flabbergasted. Was Jesus showing that what God does for us is far better than anything we try to do to clean ourselves up? Scripture says that these actions “revealed his glory” and his disciples put their faith in him.

Are there things you do to try to clean yourself up and earn God’s love? Jesus meets our needs and does so in abundance. (There were 120-180 gallons of water in those jars). He also gives us something greater than what we’re trying to serve ourselves — just as the wine was better than what the party drank earlier. Will you trust him to clean you up and replace rituals with good gifts?

Laura Rector

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Pray

Jesus, thank you that through your Spirit, you can take dirty things and make them clean and give me gifts far greater than anything I can imagine. Amen.

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Go

Open your heart now as you would a brightly-wrapped package,
Confident that the Giver of Life has provided you the greatest gift,
The gift of life.
Live today as a celebration, a time of giving back—
To God
And to all the world.

Laura Rector

Laura Rector is a PhD candidate and adjunct instructor at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. She attends First Baptist Church of Pomona.

Tis a Gift to Be Simple

Ken Medema

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