Pause

There are plentiful gifts for the journey;

O God, help us to receive each one with an open heart.

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Listen

When King Herod heard this, he was troubled, and everyone in Jerusalem was troubled with him. He gathered all the chief priests and the legal experts and asked them where the Christ was to be born. They said, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for this is what the prophet wrote:

You, Bethlehem, land of Judah, by no means are you least among the rulers of Judah, because from you will come one who governs, who will shepherd my people Israel.

Matthew 2:3-6

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Think

Sometimes we feel threatened by the gifts that others possess. We misunderstand the nature of gifts, thinking that if someone else has a gift this means we cannot have the same gift. This is not true. We are each unique, but we do not have a monopoly on our gifts.

As humans we ascribe value to gifts – we think that one is more important or better than another. God does not weigh gifts against each other. In God’s eyes, there is no limit to or competition in who owns what gifts. God values each gift in its own right and honors each owner of the gift as worthy.

Do not be troubled by the gifts of others. Celebrate that each of us has been given gifts for the journey. When we give our gifts free of comparison or expectation we honor God.

Samantha Haycock

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Pray

Bountiful God, giver of all good things: You have given each of your children the gifts they need to do your work in the world. Guide me in honoring my own gifts and in celebrating the gifts of others, through your beloved child Jesus Christ. Amen.

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Go

You are a spark.

You are love.

You are a shining star.

You are a gift God has given to the world.

Samantha Haycock

Samantha Haycock is the lay chaplain with St. Martin’s Episcopal Center at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She loves spreading the good news of God’s love for all people by living out her baptismal call.

Advent Waiting: Away in a Manger – O Come All Ye Faithful

David Burroughs

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