(This is a meditation intended to be done in a group. If you are engaging this practice on your own, you may use the embedded image when you reach the section of the meditation for receiving a word - simply close your eyes and ask God to guide you to your word, then open your eyes. The word your eyes see first is your gifted word.)
It’s the time of year when we tend to get asked what we want.
Loved ones and friends want to show us they care by giving us a gift for Christmas, but they may not be sure what to get us, so they ask:
“what do you want for Christmas?”
It’s a good question.
It’s an expression of love.
A desire to offer us something that we will truly use and value.
And it’s an invitation for us to stop and think about what we really do want.
What is something that we have not been able to get for ourselves… maybe because we haven’t taken the time to really focus on our own needs… or maybe it’s something we can’t or won’t get for ourselves… or maybe it just means more if comes from someone else.
They say that gift-giving is one of the primary human love languages.
And if humans are made in the image of God, then presumably gift-giving is one of God’s love languages too.
So…I wonder. What would you answer if God were to ask you:
“What do you want for Christmas?”
Take a minute and actually think about your answer to that question. Think about what you would like to receive from God and try to simplify it down to one word.
It might be an action in your life (like healing, or reconciliation);
Or a quality you want God to cultivate in you (like strength or trust);
Our maybe a wish you have for the coming year (like growth or peace).
Examine your heart, and when you have your word, write it on your wooden disk, and then bring your disk up and place it – word down – on the altar rail.
[ those meditating alone, may simply identify your word, and take a few minutes to sit with it, letting it echo in your soul and feeling the different ways that it touches your life.]
We have all offered our word to God, but the thing about receiving is that it is an act of letting go of control.
We don’t actually get to dictate to God how God’s Holy Disruption is going to move in our lives.
So, tonight, I want to invite you all into a discipline of trust. I want you to come back to the altar rail and select a disk that is NOT the one you placed here, and to contemplate someone else’s word as a gift for you.
[if you are meditating alone, you may use the image at the top of this meditation to offer you a new word.]
As we contemplate our gifted words, I want to invite you to consider your word as "the way" described in Jan Richardson's poem Blessing the Way. [the poem my be read on her website. Scroll down for the blessing.]