Givers, Giving and Gifts

Date posted: Tuesday 21 November 2023

Have you noticed an increase in the number of references to gifts lately? Of course, retailers think the holiday season is already here. (Who knew that Black Friday lasted a whole month?) But several articles refer to gifts such as the ability to teach effectively, sing beautifully, or refer to a “gifted athlete”. Perhaps you’ve been asked to consider the gift of the changing season or the many gifts that come to us through creation itself. There are monetary gifts to support the ministry of a congregation’s stewardship effort or organizations who remind us of the gifts we provide on Give to the Max Day.


As we read, watch, and hear about the wars in the Middle East and Ukraine, we continue to pray for the gift of peace. We see the precious gift of life being taken from so many of God’s children and the gift of family torn apart. The gift of safety which so many of us enjoy is not a gift in many lives today.


Christmas is approaching and it would be well for us to focus always on the giver rather than the gift. God is the giver of all gifts and we the unworthy but blessed recipients. God has given us the gift of prayer that keeps us in relationship with our Creator. God sent us Jesus, our Savior, who became incarnate at Christmas. And God has given us each other.


God has given us both the call and the ability to share these gifts. We in the ELCA see ourselves doing God’s work through our hands. We also have the ability to share God’s gifts through the ELCA World Hunger program - - the Good Gifts efforts are a way to share twice this season. We can “gift” a family member by sharing a real gift with a person who has less both here and abroad. Look for information about ELCA Good Gifts at your church or at


Remember the Giver and the gifts during this holy season.


Vernita Kennen
Incarnation, Shoreview