• Five Minute Friday :: Receive Linkup
From Gian-Carlo Menotti's Ahmal and the Night Visitors:
The child we seek holds the seas and the winds on his palm.
The child we seek has the moon and the stars at his feet.
Before him, the eagle is gentle the lion is meek.
On love, on love alone will he build his kingdom…
His might will not be built on your toil.
Swifter than lightning he will soon walk among us.
He will bring us new life and receive our death.
And the keys to his city belong to the poor.
The Child will bring us new life and receive our death.
People may offer us a gift of a birthday present, a compliment, their presence, a little more time (name yours!), but the gift isn't complete until we receive it. In many cases that means no action on our part; some times to receive a gift is simply not to refuse it, but we frequently need to unwrap it to find out what it is and to use the gift. Humans have been known to say "exchange gifts," but as one of my professors pointed out, an exchange (money for something, bartering this item I have for that one you have, any quid pro quo) is perfectly legitimate and necessary in a developed market economy because we're not hunter-gatherers… but a gift is something else.
The late Richard Farina wrote the song "Pack up your Sorrows."
If somehow you could pack up your sorrows,
And give them all to me,
You would lose them, I know how to use them,
Give them all to me.
In the world of music, Christ-figures are fairly familiar. Think about James Taylor singing "Handyman," "You've Got a Friend," "Shower the People You Love," "Up on the Roof."
Jesus receives our sorrow, disappointment, devastation, and grief as a gift and we receive life in return as a gift from him. How about us? Can we receive another's pain, problems, and troubles as gifts and return new life? Not because we expect to get, but because we love to give?
• Please check out my blog for 15 January / Epiphany 2 for a little more about this.