There are plentiful gifts for the journey;

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

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They entered the house and saw the child with Mary his mother. Falling to their knees, they honored him. Then they opened their treasure chests and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Because they were warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they went back to their own country by another route.

Matthew 2:11-12

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We can easily get caught up in wondering what we will get out of something, especially when it involves a lot of hard work.

There is a lesson we can learn here from the journey of the Magi. They were compelled to honor Jesus and they spent a great deal of time making the journey that would make this honoring possible. When they arrived, they fell on their knees offering the gifts they had with generosity. They honored without asking for honor in return. The Magi never asked what was in it for them.

We too are called to offer our gifts without expectation. When we give freely it releases us from acting out of transaction. It allows us to pay attention to the gift and to the receiver in a way that truly honors both as holy.

Samantha Haycock

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Holy God, free me from the bonds of expectation: You desire for me to give of my gifts and myself freely. Help me to honor others in this way, through your beloved child Jesus Christ. Amen.

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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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