This morning as I was heading out for my walk, I turned left and down the street. I often go that route and I often see the evidence of the neighbourhood children at play. They love to draw and colour all over the road. This morning in front of a house was this message written in two foot high chalk letters: "We are the presents, Dad??" followed by "lol", which is internet abbreviation for ?laugh out loud?, in case you didn't know.
I smiled and thought to myself, "way to go, dad!"
I guess it was dad's birthday and in response to the gifts he received, he reminded his children that they were the only gift that mattered. Or something like that. Lucky kids.
I often tell my congregation when we are talking about spiritual gifts, that in the most important sense, they are the gift. Sure spiritual gifts matter, but we really are God's gift to the world.
Paul says we have this treasure in earthen vessels. The treasure is the gospel and the Holy Spirit, who lives in us. He also calls this our "hope of glory, Christ in us."
Imagine receiving a clay pot full of gold and jewels.
Now imagine yourself scoffing and saying, "Not another crummy clay pot! I have all of those I need, thanks." I don't think so.
My neighbourhood dad knew better. He recognized the real gifts when he saw them.
So does our heavenly father. He knows we are the gift he wants to send out into the world, full of His Holy Spirit. Let no one, including yourself, convince you that you are just another crummy clay pot because you don't seem to have some super spiritual gift, or for any reason. You are the treasure.
We are the gifts, Abba??
(a voice speaks from heaven)
"Yea verily, amen." Translated, means "right on, dude!"