by Sarah Albrecht
This Christmas season, the lyrics to the third verse of “O Little Town of Bethlehem” have replayed through my mind: “No ear may hear His coming/ But in this world of sin/ Where meek souls will receive him still/ The dear Christ enters in." The words have made me think not just about being a good giver, but a good receiver.
I suppose good receiving is gratitude, but as the carol lyrics indicate, a meek soul must be a prerequisite to good receiving.
If meekness is being “humble in spirit or manner” (wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn), am I a meek soul? Am I humble enough in spirit or manner to recognize and let in the gifts of the Savior and of those around me? Giving enriches the giver, but so does recognizing the good gifts, often unwrapped and intangible, enrich the receiver: gifts of the Spirit, a hug from a child, the effort from a husband to find just the right new computer for the family (there's a story about this one that prompted this post).
Oddly enough, being hurried seems a prime way to temper my humility or meekness of soul because I'm focused on myself and what I need to be doing. Rushing to get my family dinner or to prepare for the holidays--acts of service, in their own way, if kept in proper perspective--can stop me from receiving quiet gifts from those I love most.
The desire to be a good receiver has enriched my contemplation of Christmas this year and is so far my one formulated resolution for the coming year. For me, it's a good place to start.