Gracious Participation

On Monday night we talked a lot about the Beatitudes.  (See Matt 5:3-12)  One of the things we discussed was the idea of interdependence.  I need you, but I also need to be strong enough for when you need me.  Reliance on those around us.  This is a complicated concept for us to understand and accept, especially for us Americans. For most of us, it's much easier to serve than to be served.  Graciously accepting someone's generosity requires humility and gratitude... and that's an awkward place for most of us.  It's much easier to be the one handing out the good things or good deeds, much more difficult to accept them.  It's even more difficult to admit to what we want or even worse, what we need when it is not in our ability to acquire it.   No one want's to be referred to as a charity case or a freeloader.  We want to think we've earned everything we receive.  This concept is against the very simple definition of grace.  We cannot earn it.  It is freely given.

The most important thing to remember is that we must allow people to serve us so they can receive the blessings of the service.  When we deny a gift, we deny the giver the grace of the action.  As difficult as it sounds, we must allow people the opportunity to serve.

We've received some very gracious invitations lately.  And when I say gracious, I sincerely mean it.  These opportunities were certainly not earned, and not available without the help of others.  I humbly say "YES" with much enthusiasm because I know someday, I'd like the opportunity to do for someone else.  My time will come.  For now, I'm filled with gratitude and going to enjoy my experiences.