Originally scheduled for December 27
is indebted to Agatha Christie for the title and Andrew Murray for
much of the content.)
you will, the favorite word of most two-year-olds: mine. As adults
use the word it has a variety of meanings. But I would focus today
on the method by which you got whatever it is of what you can say
You could’ve obtained it by creating it, purchasing it or
inheriting it. In these instances there is no particular dispute
over whether or not it’s really yours, and there is some sense that
the item in question is deservedly yours. You, or your ancestor,
paid for it or earned it or made it.
Alternately, it could be yours by means of a gift. In that
instance, you usually don’t feel that you particularly deserved it —
just that you got it.
Does it make
a difference? I submit that it does. We are told that in communion
we receive the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Do you not see that
this makes that body ours? Indeed it does — what we call His body is
now ours, by means of a gift. It’s not that we deserved it, or that
one of our ancestors deserved it, it’s that he gave it to us.
Gifts come in
assorted sizes, shapes and flavors. But it is a fact that a gift
which is given to us out of love is usually one that is highly
prized, for we remember the love which gave it. We tend to think
highly of the giver. But there is a greater possibility. A gift
which is given freely — not out of compulsion, but out of free will
— is the gift of a friend. The gift symbolizes not only the love,
but our relationship with that individual.
curiously interesting aspect of this. We mentioned gifts
given freely; but have you ever considered that this is a gift which
is taken freely? When
people think that the gift is somehow suspect, they ask questions,
wondering if they aren’t really entitled to it. But a gift that you
can take freely is one that is a pure gift indeed. When a gift comes
with the simple joy of being nothing but a gift, purely, it is much
easier to take.
instance, we must also consider the relationship between the giver
and the gift. Depending upon the giver, a gift can have greater
value if the person giving it is greatly valued. For example,
suppose that one of your distant ancestors had served in the
Revolutionary War. For his services, George Washington gave him the
gift of a sword, let us say. You wouldn’t keep it in the junk metal
bin in the garage; it would be hanging over your fireplace mantel
and you would be very happy to explain its origins to anyone who
asked. The giver (in this instance George Washington) gives value to
the gift. Thus, the Lord’s Supper is a very prized and great gift
indeed; do not take it lightly. As you partake, consider these
Who is the giver?
At what price was the gift given?
With what motive was the gift given?