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Proverbs 25:21-22 (12/20/10) |
Thanks to the Chancel and Sonrise Choirs of St. John’s UMC, to our own organist and soloists, to the guest musicians and composer, to all the readers, and most especially to our Director of Music for their beautiful gift of the Christmas musical program. If it’s anything like the quilt I started in November, it probably seemed like a wonderful idea in the planning stages, and a wonderful idea once the last performance was over. In the meantime, there were probably some times of just plain hard work where it didn’t seem quite so wonderful.
Giving gifts has pros and cons. In October and on Christmas Day, it’s all pros. In the few days before Christmas, some cons start appearing. This week we will take a light-hearted look at some Biblical pros and cons of gift-giving. Have you ever gotten a gift from someone who wasn’t on your own list? Be honest — was your reaction, “Aaaw, that’s nice…,” or was it, “DARN! What can I get that will arrive in two days??” Today’s reading speaks to this dilemma.
Proverbs 19:6 (12/21/10)
Our proverb sounds a little cynical at first blush.
But think about it this way. A generous person is likely to be kind, and other people like to be deserving of that kindness. A person who gives gifts is (often) somebody who just naturally likes people, and everyone wants to be friends with somebody like that. So maybe this proverb, like most of them, is just an observation about how the world works.
Daniel 2:47-48 (12/22/10)
Have you gotten a “free gift” lately? I always wonder, “As opposed to what? A gift I have to pay for?” Your Christmas bonus isn’t a gift, either; according to the IRS, it’s part of your W-2 income.
Another type of gift that isn’t is the reward. After Daniel correctly told King Nebuchadnezzar his dream and then interpreted it, Nebuchadnezzar gave him gifts. This strikes me as something for something, a reward, not something for nothing, which is what a gift is.
Genesis 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 12:4-7. (12/23/10)
Fellow-reader Daryl L. sent me a note about yesterday's study tip. I changed today's readings to show that he is absolutely correct.
Our entire study comes down to this: Everyone has a gift. Make the best use of yours.
I appreciate your distinction and describing a non-gift as “something for something.” Here’s a thought: a gift might be “something for something” in the sense of spiritual gifts as “something I’m giving you now so you can respond by giving something in the future.”
Merry Christmas to you and the whole clan!
Genesis 12:1-2 Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you.
And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing."
1 Corinthians 12:4-7 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone. To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
(English Standard Version; emphasis added).
is coming soon.
Who Are the Gifted?
The Gift of Wealth
Mentoring the Gifted
Copyright 2010, 2016 by Regina L. Hunter. All rights reserved.
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author, Regina Hunter, and may or may not be shared by the sponsors or the
Bible-study participants. Thanks to the
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for their support and enthusiasm. All
errors are, of course, the sole responsibility of the author.
St. John’s United Methodist Church,
2626 Arizona NE, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87110
Traditional worship services are held Sundays at 8:15 and
11:00 a.m. in the sanctuary. Casual worship services are held Sundays at
9:30 a.m. in the Family Life Center.
are held monthly on the second Saturday at 5:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. St. John’s feels especially called to the worship of God and to the service of our neighbors through our music program
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