An Interesting Idea.

An Interesting Idea

Well, Christmas is over, and the New Year has begun. Christmas probably seems a long time ago!  I wonder if you can remember any of the gifts you received or gave over the festive period? Some gifts stay in our memory, but others are soon forgotten.

We tend to think of gifts as something we give to others, and which others give to us. But have you ever thought of God as the giver of gifts?

There are several passages in the Bible which explore the idea that God has given each one of us a skill or skills, which we are to use to benefit others. These skills are gifts from God, and we are accountable to God for their right use.

Why does God give us these gifts? Because he loves and cares for us and wishes to work through us for the good of all. One way in which we can live fulfilled lives as human beings is by using the particular skills which God has given to us.  It’s not just a matter of receiving these skills in a passive way; we are also to make the most of any opportunity we may have to develop them further.

The start of a new year can be a good time to reflect on the skills which God has given us. What would we say are our particular skills?  How are we using them? Are we simply using them selfishly, merely for our own benefit? Or are we benefitting the wider community, as well us ourselves?

And of course, there’s another aspect to this idea of our skills as a gift from God.  A gift involves not only a willing donor. There also needs to be a willing recipient. God is a generous God, who wishes to transform our lives and our communities for the better. But God chooses to work in partnership with us human beings. This means that he doesn’t force things on us. That’s not his way.  God’s generosity is a patient generosity, a generosity which respects our freedom to prevaricate, and our freedom to say no. And he doesn’t mind if at first we say no, but later change our mind!

I wonder what gift you and I might seek to develop during the year ahead? Is there a fresh gift which God might be wishing to give us?

Fr Jason