There is a passage of scripture in the Old Testament that tells about the Festival of Tabernacles. Within that passage are these two verses:
Three times a year all your men must appear before the Lord your God at the place he will choose: at the Festival of Unleavened Bread, the Festival of Weeks and the Festival of Tabernacles. No one should appear before the Lord empty-handed: Each of you must bring a gift in proportion to the way the Lord your God has blessed you.
The last part of verse seventeen speaks to me apart from this context.
The gifts that God has given us–our spiritual gifts and our talents—are to be given back as gifts or offerings to God.
If our spiritual gifts include teaching, then when we teach we are offering it to God.
If our talents include construction skills, when we are building a structure, our actions can be an offering, as well.
On Christmas morning, I drove to a local hospital by myself.
I had decided that since one of my talents is piano playing, I could play Christmas songs on a piano located in the lobby.
In some way, I hoped that the music would bring both comfort and cheer to those who were there.
As I played, many people came walking by.
Nurses and other hospital staff.
People with young children.
Everyone had a reason for being at the hospital on Christmas.
Several people made positive comments and smiled.
A young man found a seat in a waiting area, looking sober and thoughtful.
Was he worried?
Who did he love that was ill?
I played on.
Songs about the birth of Jesus.
Songs about Christmastime.
Because God had given me the blessing and ability to learn the skill of piano playing, I had piano playing to give to others on Christmas Day.
As I left to go home to my own family, I walked past a life-sized nativity scene outside the hospital.
The wise men brought gifts to Jesus long ago.
On this Christmas, my offering was one of music, given back to Him.
What gifts has God given to you?
Click to enlarge photo.