When someone come at you with a present in their hands it becomes really hard to look at anything but the gift. As they approach, you begin to silently ponder a lot of questions to yourself. What could it be? Is it really for me? Why am I receiving such a gift? And most importantly; can I open it now?
On Tuesdays I make rounds to go and see some of our shut-ins here at Grace Lutheran. I find this part of my vocation to be a constant source of encouragement and joy. I remember my old friend Dale who, when I would call him to complain about some ridiculous bureaucratic BS that I had to put up with, would often give me the advice, “Go visit a shut-in.” You see I didn’t always see shut-in calls as a source of joy or encouragement, it was more like an interference in a otherwise busy scheduled. But Dale had been at this much longer than I and he proved more than once to give sage advice so I would usually give in and do what he suggested.
And what I almost always found was a brother or sister in Christ who greeted me as one who was carrying a large present. In fact quite often when I would sit down and begin the normal small talk (not my strong suit) they would cut to the chase and ask if I brought communion. And I realized that from the moment I entered their home or the hospital room they were wondering if they could have their present now or would I make them wait to open it.
We have a tendency to make this all far more complicated than it really is. The gifts have been set in our hands; what a joy to be able to hand them over!