June 29, 2006

Receiving

As expected, I've not had much time to blog while attending the Summer Collegium at Virginia Theological Seminary these past nine days. However, I will mention one thing...

When Ginger and I arrived, we were greeted graciously by the directors. We were given a folder, and inside, mixed in among all the information, schedules, etc., were two envelopes. One had some cash in it for our "night on the town." The other contained tickets to see "Spamalot" at the Washington National Theater.

I thought it a bit much. I expected to work hard while here (which I did!) but I did not expect to receive gifts like these. I began to feel guilty. This event was made possible by a generous grant from the Lilly Foundation, which meant that there was absolutely no cost to me. Why would the Lilly Foundation pay for an evening of fun & frivolity?

It was several days later before I found my answer. As a small church pastor, I give. I give a lot. All small church pastors do. And many of us have forgotten how to receive. It is an act of grace to receive a gift, to accept it, and to be thankful for it. These truly were wonderful gifts, and the time spent participating in this event has been uplifting and encouraging. It's nice to know that small church pastors like myself do matter!

I remembered when Jesus was anointed with costly perfume. The disciples grumbled; surely that perfume could have been sold, and the money given to the poor! But Jesus accepted the gift with grace. I'm learning to do the same.

3 comments:

Jason said...

I enjoy reading your blog. This post was great! I'm jealous of you seeing Spamalot. You're right, we small church pastors are so stuck in the giving role we forget the receiving. Thanks for sharing.

Guido said...

There was a great line in a liturgy during epiphany.
"You Christ who is God, graciously recieved the gifts of the magi of the East."
That reminded me that if Christ could recieve the useless gifts of Myrrh and Frankysense. Then I could recieve gifts that others bring me.

Lorna said...

learning to have our feet washed IS hard.

I'm glad you were blessed with this gift :) and able to receive. Even more I'm glad you shared the lesson with us. WE need reminding time and time again.