A few last thoughts on giving and receiving, as I frantically scour the Internet for the perfect last gift.
Despite my desire to find that perfect gift, I know in my heart that the best gifts are simple, come from the heart, and can come from anyone. No better example of this is to watch a young child open the perfect present from grandfather, one he searched high and low for and spent way too much money. The child opens the package, discards the gift immediately, and starts playing with the ribbon or the torn up box. The child in effect gives the grandfather a gift in humility and what’s really important.
Giving and receiving during Advent transforms both the giver and the receiver. For the giver, we learn that even the smallest of gifts or service bring the hope of the season, and for the receiver our willingness to receive and our gratitude for the gift bring joy and hope to the giver.
During this season we all have the opportunity to play both roles, and in so doing we spread hope and joy to the whole world. Even the most humble gift transforms those around us.
Finally, it is not just during Advent that we can be the servant or the receiver. On any day, at any moment, we can give of ourselves and receive the gifts of others. We also realize that their is no gift too small, too insignificant or too minor. God began on Christmas day by giving the world a small and helpless child. Look what that gift turned out to be.