“Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ…
He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hands of his beloved Son…” Ephesians 1:5-6 MSG
God’s Gift of UNIQUENESS
Advent Sunday 2
Uniqueness (noun): the quality of being the only one of its kind; particularly remarkable, special, or unusual
“Out of the generosity of Christ, each of us is given his own gift…” Ephesians 4:7
Of all the Christmas programs I grew up being part of, one stands out. I remember so clearly the year I was nine, standing on the platform of Emmanuel Lutheran Church, draped in blue cloth from head to toe, and holding a baby doll wrapped in a blanket.
I was Mary. The Mother of Jesus. I felt so special to have that part.
Don’t we all want to feel special sometimes?
Important, valued, needed, appreciated…we might not want to admit it, but we like this.
We need this.
Jesus knows this about us. He put us together, created each of us in a unique and complicated and beautiful way. He made every single person who has ever lived one-of-a-kind and chose us to have a special part in his church, his kingdom on earth.
I admire and enjoy this uniqueness–all these remarkable, necessary, extraordinary parts God gives. Especially in my closest friends.
Parents, teachers, nurses, therapists, administrators, authors, artists, and more.
Honesty–her gift of finding and speaking truth in difficult situations
Service–her gift of helping, volunteering, and lightening the loads of others
Encouragement–her gift of sending texts and cards, the right words at just the right time
Leadership–her gift of guidance and direction, high standards, and examples of excellence
Faith–her gift of holding to the promises of God and reminding us of them always
Prayer–her gift of interceding specifically and daily for so many needs, so many hearts
Joy–her gift of lighting up the room and lifting the hearts of everyone in her life
Listening–her gift of hearing beyond the words; lovingly, deeply showing that she understands
Organization–her gift of bringing order to the chaos, making things happen, getting things done
Perseverance in hardship–her gift of rising up with strength and raw humor in difficult times
Authenticity–her gift of being vulnerable, connecting in real and unassuming ways
Gentleness–her gift of patience and kindness; her comforting ways of showing love
We need these things from each other. Nobody could possibly have all of them, and none are more important that the rest. In this beautiful kingdom that God is building, we find our places and learn our parts and discover all the amazing ways that he keeps putting our unique and desperately needed gifts together.
We can be so grateful during this advent time that Jesus came to us, made himself known to us, and so thoughtfully gave these incredible gifts to all who will receive them.
Enter into the Celebration:
Thank you, Jesus, for coming to earth and bringing me your gift of uniqueness! Thank you that you call me your child and see me as particularly remarkable, extra-special, and one-of-a-kind. The part you have given me to play in the body of Christ brings challenge and blessing and purpose. Please help me to embrace this gift and live it out with your powerful Spirit inside me. What a privilege it is to be a part of your “Christmas program” every day!