Advent Reflection: Abundantly Blessed

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Jacob then made this vow: “If God will be with me and protect me on this journey I am making and give me food to eat and clothes to wear, and I come back safely to my father’s house, the Lord will be my God. This stone that I have set up as a sacred pillar will be the house of God. Of everything you give me, I will return a tenth part to you without fail.”

Genesis 28:20-22

Name 5 gifts God has given you. Have you offered those gifts back to God? Do you give God your first fruits, or your leftovers?

jacobs-ladder

Going Deeper

Read Genesis 28:10-22

The covenant that God made with Abraham continues with his grandson, Jacob. God reaffirms his promises in this passage. Jacob recognizes that all he has comes from God. This is the foundation of stewardship—recognizing that everything we have is a gift from God. We can’t earn mercy and grace. We aren’t entitled to a nice car, a warm house, and plentiful food. All is gift. In gratitude for God’s gifts to us, we are invited to use those gifts for his glory, and to share what we have with others. Jacob commits to giving a tenth of everything back to God. As God’s generosity toward you increases, I would challenge you to go beyond ten percent. And don’t stop with a monetary tithe. Your life and your abilities are also gifts from God. Are you sharing your time and talent to serve other people and build the kingdom of God that Jesus ushered in?

I invite you to join me today in my own reimagining of the Stewardship Prayer of St. Ignatius Loyola:

Father, thank you for the abundant gifts you have given me—both those I recognize as gift, and those I have a harder time accepting or understanding. I offer all of it to you. Take away anything that separates me from you. Give me what I need to become the person you created me to be. Help me to see and embrace every opportunity to use the gifts I’ve been given to give honor and glory to you, and to bring about your kingdom. I open my entire being to your love. May that love penetrate every part of my life and continually shape me into your image. Amen.

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