As part of my Lenten journey this year, I will be blogging daily using the themes or words created by the South-Central Synod of Wisconsin in partnership with other ELCA synods for “Lent Photo a Day.” The word for today, March 3rd, is “Gift.”
I recently had a birthday, and I heard from many friends and family through cards, letters, phone calls, text messages, emails, and of course on Facebook. I also received a few gifts. One gift that stands out, were these three crystal water goblets.
Allison and I are perhaps a bit unusual among our generation. Many of our friends who have gotten married in the past 5-10 years did not register for china, crystal, and silver as might have been the customs of past generations. We however, did. We love to share hospitality and have fun meals and parties. Though while we lived in Minnesota, all of these nice things stayed safely away in storage. But now they are with us, in our home, and with help from my family, especially my parents lately, we are working to complete our crystal sets.
Hence, for my thirtieth birthday, I received three goblets, one for each decade. Three glasses which will most often be used to share some water with loved ones, family, friends, and guests. These are a gift to me, but they are also, I hope a vehicle of a gift to others. They are a symbol of community, and a means by which a central need in all of our lives, water, can be shared.
Perhaps they might even be a symbol of something more?
The words of the hymn, “You Satisfy the Hungry Heart,” ring in my ears, because of how it talks about the gifts of God, some of which we remember and celebrate through the meal and sacrament of communion. The refrain and some of the verses read or sing like this:
“You satisfy the hungry heart with gift of finest wheat. Come give to us, O saving Lord, the bread of life to eat.
With joyful lips we sing to you our praise and gratitude that you should count us worthy, Lord, to share this heavenly food.
Is not the cup we bless and share the blood of Christ outpoured? Do not one cup, one loaf, declare our oneness in the Lord?
You give yourself to us, O Lord; then selfless let us be, to serve each other in your name in truth and charity.
You satisfy the hungry heart with gift of finest wheat. Come give to us, O saving Lord, the bread of life to eat.”
What are some gifts that you have received? What are some gifts that you have given? What have their impact been? What has their impact been upon you?
To close today, let us pray a Lenten offertory prayer,
God our provider, you have not fed us with bread alone, but with words of grace and life. Bless us and these your gifts, which we receive from your bounty, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Omer Westendorf & Robert E. Kreutz, “You Satisfy the Hungry Heart,” (1977, Archdiocese of Philadelphia), found in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Fortress, 2006), 484.
Prayer of the Day from “Offering Prayer,” in Evangelical Lutheran Worship, page 64.
As we continue together our journey through Lent to the cross, join me in pondering these questions, and join the #LentPhotoaDay adventure through images and pictures on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other social media channels.