Regifting

Regifting

Luke 1:26-38

Today in worship the kids presented their annual Christmas play, reminding us that this season is all about the gift.  And by “gift,” we don’t mean a PS4 or a pair of roller skates or whatever it is you’re hoping for; we mean the best gift of Jesus Christ.

This has gotten me thinking about regifting.  LabelMakerRegifting is the practice of taking an item given to you, then repurposing said item as a gift to another person – usually without mentioning how you got it.  “What,” I wondered, “is the most frequently regifted item?”

So of course I searched the interweb for this information, expecting some statistics about “The most regifted items of 2014.”  Sadly, I found only conjecture and theory with no research to back them up.  But my quest for knowledge would not be stopped; by the magic of the internet I conducted my own survey!  I asked my Facebook friends and Twitter followers, “What of the following items are you the most likely to regift?”  26 people anonymously took this survey, and I share the official results with you today!  (Yes – twenty-six.  It seems my 1,097 Facebook friends are quite busy this time of year.  Or uninteresting in regifting.  Or both.)

Okay, without any further delay, here you go… the top 10 most likely to be regifted items!

  1. Gift cards
  2. Jewelry
  3. Books
  4. Gift Baskets
  5. Housewares
  6. Alcohol
  7. Clothing
  8. Candles
  9. Fruitcakes
  10. Bathsoaps

Have you noticed that there’s an obvious item missing from this list?  Not only should it be a top ten regift, it should be the number one regifted item!

I’ll give you a hint:  our children’s play was all about it.

Yes:  Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the one gift that’s meant to regift.  In Luke’s gospel, Mary is the first one to be told about Jesus’s arrival; as his mother, she is the first recipient of this gift.  But Jesus is not meant just for her.

Jesus gathers twelve disciples as his original followers, but the gift is not only for them.  The conclusion of Matthew’s gospel is the “Great Commission” where Jesus tells the twelve, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” (28:19).

The original recipients of Jesus’ message were mostly Jews and a few Gentiles (non-Jews) living in Roman-occupied Israel.  Jesus was not meant only for one nation, however.  At the end of Luke Jesus tells his disciples that repentance and forgiveness in his name starts in Jerusalem but is to be brought to all nations (24:47).

The most regifted item this year should not be bathsoaps.  Or fruitcakes.  Or candles, or clothing, or anything on our list.  It should be Jesus Christ.

There are a lot of ways you can regift the gift of Christ, but at this time of year it’s easier than normal to invite a friend to church.  Folks you know who don’t normally attend worship might like to attend a special Christmas service.  So invite your coworkers to go with you on Christmas Sunday.  Or invite your neighbor to come along with you on Christmas Eve.  Give up your normal seat at church so a visitor can feel welcome.  Introduce yourself to an unfamiliar face and tell them how glad you are they’re there.  If you have a part in one of these services, give your very best in word or song or action.

Chances are good you’re getting all sorts of gifts together for December 25th.  Don’t forget to regift the best one of all.

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