Seeking, Receiving, Being, Giving

Christmastide: December 30
Read Matthew 2:1-12, then re-read verses 1-2 and verse 12

Sometimes it can be a very long time and a very long distance to travel to receive God’s gifts. Perhaps you are still on your search. Perhaps you are still learning to give up your illusions and learning to receive God’s gifts. That’s great!  In fact, these are lessons each of us must be willing to learn over and over and over again — to let go, to open our clenched fists to receive, and to trust God.

The wise men, astrologers from the east, traveled a long distance in search of the newborn king so they could pay homage to him and give him gifts. By calculating the appearance of the star, Herod could tell that the baby might have been born any time during the previous two years. If the wise men started their quest when the star first appeared, they may have been studying the signs and prophecies, searching, and traveling for a very long time.

And sometimes it can be a very long time and a very long distance to travel between receiving God’s gifts and being able to give anything back to God or being able to give to others. Such a time of receiving, such a time of what feels like passivity, can be very frustrating to us when we want to be doing, giving, and in control.

Consider your real need to receive from God and be fed by God — a need that exists every day. Then consider God’s calling to you and your response to it. God may be calling you to specific work that you are avoiding. But it is equally possible that God is calling you to be quiet, to love God, to be with God, and to feed on God. In our desire to be doing, it is easy to miss the call to simply be.

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About Nancy Smith

Nancy Smith has 20 years’ experience in technical writing and management in software companies. She also has more than 20 years in Christian ministry as an educator, course designer, retreat leader, spiritual director, pastor, and coach. A United Methodist Deacon, Smith has her M.Div. from Boston University. She is a graduate of the Guild for Spiritual Guidance, and is certified in Spiritual Direction and Retreat Leadership from Boston College.
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