[Originally written May 27]
I’ve been thinking about the custom of gift-giving. To give a gift is a very vulnerable act. The recipient sets the tone for the exchange; if he likes it, it’s a good gift and positive experience; if he does not like it (or openly admits to not liking it), it is a bad gift and bad experience. The recipient has a choice in how to react to the gift. The giver is at the mercy of the recipient’s reaction. The giver offers a gift, exposing himself to judgment and possible rejection. It takes bravery to be the giver.
In a similar way, God is a giver. He offers us the gift of eternal union with him. To offer such a gift, he made himself vulnerable, a human man, capable of temptation, torture, and rejection. Yet he still offered us the gift because of his love for us. In turn, we are recipients. We get to set the tone—is God’s grace a story of love conquering death or of humanity rejecting its opportunity at redemption? We have the choice to accept or reject the gift. In making us the recipients, God made us the ones in control of the gift of grace.