The theme of the week for us this week is “Amazed” – a perfect way to start the new year in 2015. It is inspired by the account from Matthew’s Gospel on the visit of the the three Kings, or Magi, to the infant Christ. What was impressive about what this Gospel account is;
- They showed vision and faith – they took time to reflect, learn and follow the star. They were willing to take the risk of setting off on a journey of faith.
- They stuck to their vision and direction but were willing to listen to God’s plan for them.
- They gave thanks and respect to the humblest newborn child recognising and seeing what His life and mission would be including his suffering and death.
We can also stop to think about what gift we might bring – do we get more pleasure from receiving gifts or the giving of gifts? In the simplest form I believe we can only be truly happy by looking to give unconditionally to others. Before Christmas in school we had the Giving Tree donating gifts for charities for the homeless in Brighton, rushing around Tesco’s getting a few presents for this before Christmas was a great memory and brings a smile to my face.
Over the break I heard of something similar in a new social network called “Impossible”. It has been setup by a model, Lily Cole, who is looking to challenge us to see if we can give something without expecting anything in return.
It is a simple idea where we can offer to do something for someone else and equally have opportunities to ask for help from others. This might range from teaching someone to cook or dance, helping them learn a new language or supporting them to apply for a new job.
You can see that this giving without an expectation of reward can bring real happiness, it gets us into the habit of waking up to think, “what can I do today to make someone else’s life better?”.
Maybe this experience is different from the temporary joy of unwrapping the presents at Christmas which can sometimes be quickly forgotten.
So I hope we all have a year in 2015 committed to doing something each day for others, full of light, hope and faith. We can all sign up to that amazing adventure.