1 John 2:12-17
Remember the song, "Do you hear what I hear?" Recently I sang this song with a children’s choir at a Christmas pageant. But I messed up a line. Where I should have sung, "Let us give him silver and gold," I sang, "He will give us silver and gold." Even with the words in front of me I messed up!
No, I don’t think Jesus came to give us money and make us materially rich. But as I thought about it, those words are very true in another way.
I say God gives us gifts of bronze, silver and gold.
1) Bronze makes me think of all the gifts of creation. For instance, the earth and the oceans, mountain and valleys, sunsets and rainbows, bluebirds and butterflies, daffodils and roses, dogs and kittens, food and drink – and so much more. God says, "Look at all the gifts of creation and see how much I love you."
2) Sliver makes me think of the gift of human life. God gives us life with bodies that can work and play, eyes to see beauty, ears to hear music, feet to dance, hands to reach out and help, brains to think and learn, emotions to feel, wills to choose, and hearts to love.
Besides, God gifts us with a rich variety of people, all shapes and sizes and colors, with an abundance of talents, and personalities. We especially give thanks for the gift of family and friends, teachers and public servants, and all who help us get through life. God says, "Look at all the beautiful people in your life and see how much I love you."
3) Finally God gives us the gold that is Jesus. "God so loved the world that he sent his only Son." Through Jesus coming to earth as a human, God the Father wanted to affirm the goodness of this earth and the dignity of human life.
So Jesus comes and gives us the gift of his words and example, the gift of faith and forgiveness, the gift of the Holy Eucharist and the sacraments, the gift of his death and resurrection, the gift of taking upon himself our suffering and giving it meaning, the gift of Mary for our mother and the gift of hope for eternal life.
4) What is our response to the bronze, silver and gold that God gives us?
We respond to the bronze gift of creation by caring for the earth. We respond to the silver gift of human life by caring for one another. We respond to the gold gift of Jesus by welcoming him into our hearts and
presenting ourselves with him to the Father.
Yes, he will bring us bronze, silver and gold. Happy Birthday, Jesus, and thank you!