“And then we have to do the Christmas card run.”
I have stopped sending Christmas cards. I found I was looking for the cheapest box sets that did not look like the cheapest box set. Then pruning the list of those who received them through the post (with a costly stamp attached). Then sighing over the growing number of those close by – neighbours, work colleagues, friends and acquaintances. All that writing! All that hassle! All that work and expense! For what … ?
“From Paul and family”
As a gift of love it was falling short (and shorter!) of the mark each year. And since stopping … ? No one seems to treat me any differently. No one seems to mind that their cards with “From (me) and family” are not being reciprocated. Which tells me that the ones that I receive are the product of a similar process of obligation mostly (and I know there are some wonderful occasional exceptions – Susan!)
Funny thing. This giving malarkey.
We are in Matthew 5:20-26
And what GSHJ gifted was these two verses: “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” Verses 23-23
I have known these verses almost all my life. There have been occasions when I have been planning on church – and then changed those plans to go and fix something. So I understand what Jesus is saying here, I accept what Jesus is saying here, He has it nailed down right and tight: “Don’t come waltzing in to My Place with your money in the offering plate, looking all godly, when you have not undone your hurt of another’s heart. Fix it before.”
And this morning He brought me to these two verses again – with a small twist. OUCH!
When you are offering something of love, or duty, or habit, or obligation – it matters not. What matters are priorities. When you come to my place with your money in the offering plate and the hurt of another still undone – leave your gift in the offering plate – post your Christmas cards – deliver your cards with “From Paul and family”. THEN sort the undone stuff. THEN come and look me in the eye. THEN we are right. Because then you are RIGHT. If you are in the middle of giving someone something – whoever and whatever that is – don’t “not give” because your heart is “not right”. That is just a public statement of your grief and remorse. That is just silly.
Priorities: do the act of giving … then the touch of healing … and THEN be in union in one of one with all. That IS loving.
From Dad and family 🙂
Now that IS church – bringing the outside in and taking the inside out – that IS loving union – doing it all right all the time rather than just some of the time – and that IS perfect sense. Ouch – not!
Thank you Dad xxx