Given for you

Pastoral Messages | March 28, 2024

Last week I read an article about a woman who had purchased a birthday gift for a friend. It was a thoughtful, personalized gift; chosen with care, meticulously wrapped. The friend, let’s call her Amy, ordered the gift months in advance, personalizing it with the birthday girl’s initials. She put a lot of thought and care into this gift and Amy’s excitement grew and grew as the birthday approached.  

But, to Amy’s dismay, she wasn’t invited to the birthday party. She was confused. She was a little embarrassed. Nothing had happened to cause this exclusion; no fight, disagreement, or disturbance. Had Amy overestimated this friendship?  

After a little time to process the pain and rejection, Amy chose to give the gift anyway. Why did she buy the gift in the first place? She didn’t buy it because she expected to be invited to the party. She bought the gift to bring joy into another person’s life. What a beautiful thing to have such a giving, thoughtful heart.  

This evening, many St. Paul fourth graders will celebrate their First Communion. One topic of conversation during First Communion class is that the blessing of communion is a gift. You don’t earn a gift, you don’t deserve a gift because of something you’ve done. A gift comes from the goodness of another person.  

I don’t know about you, but I think the giver of the gift is always more important than the gift itself. Knowing someone took the time to think of you and show care for you, that’s what makes an impact. It’s the love behind the cookies or the flowers or the tea kettle they bought you that mean the most.  

God gives us the gift of communion every single week. We don’t earn that gift, we don’t deserve that gift because of something we’re done. God gives it anyway. God gives us what we cannot get for ourselves, the great gift of forgiveness.  

As we walk into Maundy Thursday, it’s rejuvenating to be reminded of the great gift we’re given every time we take communion and the excitement for this group of fourth graders celebrating their First Communion. The next time you go through the communion line, take a moment to really think about the great gift of God’s mercy and forgiveness, given for you. 

-Jessica Taylor, director of communication

One comment on “Given for you”

  • Deb Lamp

    March 28, 2024 at 2:32 pm

    Good message and a reminder to giving and receiving.

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