(For use Sunday, November 25)
By Lena Wood
Tomorrow is Cyber Monday, a day of exceptional online bargains. Nowadays you can do all your Christmas shopping from home, sitting on the couch in your robe, having coffee and scrambled eggs. No more “shop ’til you drop”; now you have the option to “plop and shop.”
After buying presents for loved ones on Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday lets you enjoy another kind of generosity that carries no expectation of material return, a chance to experience a deep principle: Giving is better than receiving.
So, what should we call today, the day before all that giving and getting begins? Actually there’s a lot of giving and getting today. During Communion we give God something that takes up no space in the closet, has no weight, and costs no money. Our worship.
We observe Communion in order to give. What does Jesus receive when we rightly partake? Our love and adoration and thanksgiving: presents from us to Heaven. Worship.
It’s interesting that there’s no single, simple definition of worship in the Bible. Words for worship involve actions: lift hands, praise, sing, kneel, bow, celebrate. Since worship is first an attitude of the heart, it’s best not to wrap it in just one ritual, one part of the service.
Even the old English root of worship—worth-ship—falls short. Because how can one ever truly ascribe the worth to God that he deserves? It’s not possible. Jesus died for all sins for all time. How can one put a price on a loving relationship with the living God, not to mention salvation? Jesus asked a haunting question about gift exchanges: What would a man give in exchange for his soul?
Our worship may be inadequate, our faith a few sizes too small. But we give to God in sincerity, and he receives so very graciously. The Lord’s Supper is very much a time of exchanged gifts. What do you receive?
Before Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday, we have this day to give and receive. Perhaps we should call it—with all due respect—Bargain Sunday, because we will never ever find a better deal than the one expressed at this table. It didn’t cost us one . . . red . . . cent.
Lena Wood is the author of the “Elijah Creek & the Armor of God” series. Volumes I and II are available at www.BraughlerBooks.com.