What is our role as a “gift bearer?
Every good and perfect gift comes from above, coming down from the Father of lights.”James 1:17
Every blessing coming from our heavenly Father.
His love is unconditional. His gifts freely given.
Our Lord is the ultimate gift bearer.
Our ultimate “gift” is the blessing of His Son, who gained eternal salvation for us.
This “ultimate gift” comes to us at Christmas. The birth of the tiny King of our hearts.
And the greatest gift we could ever receive–salvation.
As we look to emulate our heavenly Father, how are we called to be bearers of gifts as well?What gifts do we have to share with others?
One morning as I was speaking to God in the shower, I asked Him, “What is true humility?” His answer was so clear, so certain. “Knowing that every gift, every blessing comes from Me. All that you have to offer is a gift from Me. Be willing to share all that I have given you.”
It seemed so simple.
Our goal is to be gift bearers. To bear the gifts that God has given us throughout our lives for His glory, and in service of others.
As we continue to work on our relationship with Christ, the Lord will reveal the gifts we have to offer others. Gifts of service, use of our talents, and a willingness to give are keys to humility. We can choose to then use those gifts to give in love and service to others.
Just as we are taught that Christ was Priest, Prophet, and King, I want to share with you three different ways that we are called to be gift bearers in our world today: by being midwives, good Samaritans, and one of the three kings.
Midwives assist in the “birthing” process for many women today. They provide emotional and physical support as women bring new life into this world. So how do we “midwife” or “birth” gifts in others? I think it looks like being instruments of the Lord in the lives of each other. We can encourage the spiritual growth of our friends. We can listen to the Lord’s work in their lives and encourage them to seek a deeper relationship with Him. We can be in relationship with people in a way that you can help them “birth” gifts of the Holy Spirit in their lives. What gifts of the Holy Spirit is God trying to reveal in their lives? We can guide others to see the gifts in their lives and how to “birth” those.
We can also help “birth” dreams in the lives of our family and friends. We can offer encouragement and support, using our gifts and talents to help our friends and family pursue new interests, desires, or career goals. We can use our ability to decorate to help our friend’s “dream” of redoing rooms in their home. We can use our web or graphic design knowledge to help a friend set up a new blog or website for her business. We can call a friend and encourage them to share their dreams and be a real source of support.
Like the good Samaritan, we can see the sufferings of others and desire to serve them in any capacity we can. We are called to be the hands and feet of Christ and practice the spiritual and corporal works of mercy. We look first to meet the physical needs of our brothers and sisters before we can help them spiritually. We “bear” them “gifts” when we use our time, our talents, and our monetary blessings to help out. Do they need a homecooked meal, help with finances, or babysitting? Are they struggling to feed their family or pay their bills? We can work one-on-one with families or can organize help with food pantries and clothing drives. When we meet the physical needs of those in our path, we are being good Samaritans. We are being good “gift bearers.”
We can also use our spiritual gifts to aid in the spiritual suffering of another. We can pray with those who suffer, grieve, or are struggling. We can teach religion to the young children in our parishes, help give marriage retreats, and lead worship in our churches. We can fast and pray for those who need our prayers.
As we approach the feast of the Epiphany, we can look to the three kings in their roles as “gift bearers” to the child Jesus. Their gifts were prophetic, with gold, frankincense, and myrrh attesting to Christ as king, His divine nature, and His death. They came to honor the King, and their gifts honored who He was. As we look to imitate the three kings, what gifts can we bring to those at this time of year that speaks to the heart of who they are to us? How can our gift-giving also bring life to those whom we honor?
As we share physical gifts for this Christmas/Epiphany season, we acknowledge that it is better to give than to receive. We seek out gifts that remind those whom we love why we love them. We honor their need to be known and be loved. We become “gift bearers” as we look to find physical gifts that speak what our hearts can’t.
Additionally, we seek out those who need blessing and cannot repay our generosity. We give gifts knowing that our gifting is one way. We receive our payment from Christ himself. Our focus on Christmas becomes that of one of the three kings. We look to give gifts rather than receive, acknowledging that Christ is the greatest gift we can receive.
As we contemplate this idea of being a “gift bearer,” can we go beyond our general understanding of gift-giving to see what other areas the Lord wants to bring conviction to?Where is the Lord asking us to give more of ourselves? What role do you see yourself doing well in: midwife, good Samaritan, or one of the three kings?
Let us bring ourselves before the manger and ask our Lord to change us.