Other Updates:

Reflections on Leading a GRIP Team Process

Introducing Discerning Direction Together

5 Reasons to Attend Set in Motion

Dissecting the Dotted Diamond

Resilience in Ministry

The Allure of Structure

Unwrapping Gifts

Budgets are a bit tighter this year.  Festivities are in smaller groups, and physical distanced gatherings that are happening are less relaxed as we watch our world wrestle with what feels like a stronghold of Covid.  

And so, in some ways gifts feel more significant this year.  They are trying to express gratitude and appreciation and love in the way that a non-mask-covered smile would.  They are trying to share hope and comfort in the way that a welcomed hug or a longer-than-normal cup of coffee together might.  And, in order to find the right gift, we are searching for the perfect blend of fun and personality and sense of “I-know-you” that can only come in the form of something truly special picked out for you… the gift that would only suit you.

So, pause and reflect on the most personal, deepest, and most complete gift you’ve ever given.  

And now think about how our Heavenly Father, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus together crafted just the perfect Gift for you.  Your Spiritual Gift.  Often we talk about them as different Gifts working together, but right now, pause, and realize it is THE Gift for YOU.  It is the blend- the combination- so exactly measured that all scientists and scholars in the world could not replicate its perfection for you.  It was designed specifically knowing every hair on your head, every relationship you would have, every situation you would encounter… even 2020.  And this Gift suited perfectly what God wanted for you — to fulfill His purpose.  And He gave it.  To you.  It is the most practical, glamorous, talk-of-the-town, treasure-it, share-it, use-it, and hold it with care so all know where it is in importance for you.  It’s the greatest cake you’ve ever tasted (with so much of it you have to share), the most beautiful ring that lights up a room and your face when you glance down at it, the most laughter-filled book or movie that is quotable and inspiring and always right to watch or read one more time.  It’s all that and more.  

We received that Gift.  

And then think about the best response you have ever had to giving a gift.  That expression of surprise and intimacy and joy… it made the effort and the time and the commitment all worth it– it deepened your bond with the person.  It gave another connection point, a memory created that will live on beyond the moment.  And that’s what others get to experience when we share the Gift that God has given to us — for the purposes of building His Body.

We give that Gift.

And then think about the other side of the gift… how it must feel to God when we embrace, understand, and use those Gifts He has shared.

I have a young 2 ½ and 4 ½ year old at home, and if you haven’t experienced, or perhaps need reminding, the affection they show in gift giving is truly intoxicatingly wonderful.  To walk down the hall after a long day to be greeted with a hug and shouts so excited you can barely understand them.  In their little hands a paper goes up and down as they jump excitedly around wanting me to see what they have for me.  And on that paper, is a picture so recklessly and yet delicately colored.  I try my best to reflect their excitement and to let them carefully describe the haphazard zigs- and zags that reflect the effort and joy not only in completing it, but so much more in sharing it with me.  And, as many a dad or mom before me, I then get to bring them into our office, and show them the space of prominence where their latest masterpiece will wonderfully remind me of them throughout the day.  That is the picture of one loving to share the gift.  

When we use our Spiritual Gifts, and the joy, power, and fruit that rises up inside of us in those moments, God celebrates with us.  He is honored by our use of what He has shared with us.  He’s a loving and proud Daddy.

We are grateful to God for our Gift.

So, as we navigate to the end of an unforgettable 2020, let’s reflect on the Gift we received, the Gifts we give, and our gratitude for the Gift.  Let’s unwrap – and share- our Gift, remembering the Giver of the Gift, and the purpose of the Gift He gave us.

© Copyright 2022 - GRIP-Birkman - a product of I to We, Inc