Today it is my turn to post at the 25 Things for Advent blog and as life is busy, and as this is my rest day, I am cross-posting my words. On this, my blog, I will then add a prayer.
Most mornings I use the Jesuit "Pray As You Go" devotions as a way of preparing myself for the coming day. Cutting through the temptation to rush straight into the busy-ness of good and, arguably, hopefully, Godly work, it forces me to centre myself. And it is a gift - someone else has done the work, all I have to do is receive.
I have a funny feeling we aren't so good at that - the receiving. We are so conditioned that "it is more blessed to give than to receive" that we fail to bless others by allowing them to give to us.
Put like that, our pious endeavours are shown as selfish ambition. God so-loved the world that God gave... Can we receive? Will we receive?
If Advent heralds something that's topsy-turvy, maybe it is permissible to overturn a familiar scripture: "freely you have given, now freely received.."
What will I have the grace to receive today? A compliment? A smile? An offer of help? A conversation? A hug?
Now here's the thing, God, you allow us to give to you
Faltering prayers and clumsy songs
You delight in our flawed endeavours to love one another
You receive generously are home-made, slightly skew-whiff, ill-drawn, over-glittered, glue-sodden, child-like praises we offer you...
Help us to receive,
First from one another,
Then from you
The beautiful, hand-crafted, personalised, thoughtful, generous, gifts born of love