Giving and Reciving in St Johns Presbyterian ChurchOne Sunday afternoon, I had the privilege to ride with a Middle School youth group as they drove around visiting elderly members of our church who can no longer attend. They brought ‘goodie’ baskets filled with homemade brownies, cookies, and a handmade card. Nine students and three adults piled into a church van, and we drove from one side of town to the other, making visits along the way. It was tempting for these students not to eat the goodies before they arrived, but they held out, and brought the gifts.

There was one visit in particular when the tables of ministry seemed to turn. We visited a beautiful woman in her 90s who welcomed us in to her home. She invited us to sit, and then asked each of the 9 students to share a little about themselves. Smiling often, she showed a genuine interest in their answers. Then, she offered us refreshments. Cold cans of Coke, Sprite, and root beer were passed around the room. On this hot summer afternoon, it was like mana to the youth.

I am continually amazed at how the Spirit of Christ so often meets us directly in the acts of giving and receiving. That day the giving and receiving were mutual, host and guest alike immersed in the Holy Presence of God.

Let us pray: We thank you O God, for the hospitality we have received over the years – and for sacrifices made on our behalf. We also thank you for the opportunities to give as we have received. And, we especially thank you for your presence which is almost tangible in these moments when our hearts are open. Give us new eyes to see you this day, we ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.