Merry Christmas, Kingdom Queens!
Here’s a little something to chew on with that dressing, etc. Gladly I can report that I made it to a new chapter in the Parker Palmer book called Let Your Life Speak: Listening for the Voice of Vocation (2000). The timing is perfect because what I want to share aligns closely with the spirit and meaning of Christmas. Here’s the statement that got my mental wheels turning–
Give only if you have something you must give; give only if you are someone for whom giving is its own reward” (Palmer, 2000, p. 48).
Isn’t that something? Well, it got me to thinking about why God felt He must put forth all that effort, leave so much behind, and stake it all on something so flaky as our free will? That’s a “WOW” if there ever was one!
In short, the theme I find in Scripture is LIGHT. The Queen Life functions in light — that is, the full disclosure of Christ (who is light), His Word (which is light), and knowledge, wisdom, and understanding (what is seen when light comes). Here are a few verses I hope are encouraging to you.
The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.
A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.
In Him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it…The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.
John 1:4-5, 9
Now compare that to what you bought and wrapped and will give in your varied Christmas traditions. Consider as well what you receive and how this all worked out in the one who gave to you. Are you compelled to give? Let’s read another quote from Parker Palmer (p. 48).
When I give something I do not possess, I give a false and dangerous gift, a gift that looks like love but is, in reality, loveless — a gift given more from my need to prove myself than from the other’s need to be cared for…
I purpose to add more wood to our spiritual fires and provoke some thought (meditation) on the light salvation and deliverance (after deliverance…) bring to us, and how we interpret that light in our giving of time, talent and treasure. While we prepare to greet the next year, let’s choose meaningful and love-full giving.
If we want to give what we do not possess, then let’s intentionally learn what we possess. Let’s play our strengths and take the calculated risks (yes, risks) to love with faith, the belief that there is someone more capable than me right now who possesses what is necessary. And if we are unable to give what another needs, then let’s commend them to someone else with the capacity to serve.
Let’s embrace our limits as well as our potential; both contribute to our true self. The gift of our true selves comes with divine life — it energizes and renews us, even as we give ourselves away. When we are sober about who we are and who we are not, then the song and the season mean so much more.
Selah, and I love you…to life! Merry Christmas. Remember to give well, walk in the light.