This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad. As I typed those words, I sang them in my head as I remember hearing Renee Campbell singing them at the lectern in Mass. All sorts of wonderful memories have been revisiting me lately (as you know if you’ve been following my series).
I remember singing this with the Life Teen Band as a responsorial psalm, so that’s what I hear every time I see this verse — accompanied by John on guitar, Vinny on drums, Larry with his percussion toys, and Leslie, Tony, Sarah, and I singing back up. Without realizing it, they all blessed me with countless gifts. Because of them and our relationship, I had a reason to attend church every Sunday because I had a purpose. It mattered to someone if I didn’t attend. Someone missed me if I didn’t show up to serve in the Life Teen Band.
1 Peter 4:10 reminds us to “use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
I believe we all did that, and most of them are still serving in that capacity. What a blessing to the parishioners of St. Stephen Catholic Church!
Today I received an unexpected gift — a beautiful bouquet of flowers from a teacher who wanted to thank me for opening the building on Sunday and spending part of my day there. All week long she has been trying to give me things for doing what I see as my job. I refused each time — even when she got a little pushy. I think she realized that I could be just as pushy, so she finally relented.
When she showed up with flowers this morning, all I could do was smile and say “Thank you, Jamie.” God blesses us in so many wonderful ways, so who are we to deny him these opportunities? Rather, I should say, who am I to block someone else’s blessings by refusing to accept their gifts? I just wasn’t thinking clearly. Charge it to my sleep-deprived head and not my heart.
From now on, I challenge all of you to stop saying “You shouldn’t have,” and start saying “Thank you.” Remember that God loves a cheerful giver.
NOTE – For those of you following my series, it will resume tomorrow. There are just two installments left. If you haven’t started yet, get caught up by clicking here.