Commissioned for New Hope United Methodist Church in Enid
Response of the People: What gift can we bring, what present, what token?
What words convey it, the joy of this day?
When grateful we come, remembering, rejoicing,
What song can we offer in honor and praise? (To the tune of Away In A Manger)
Leader: As we prepare for the coming of Christ we remember that this is a gift that no one expected The messiah shouldn’t look like this, shouldn’t act like this. We give thanks for the gifts that go beyond what we wanted.
Leader: How do we respond to a gift we didn’t ask for? Do we reject it, ignore it, place it in some closet and hope to forget? How do we respond to the gift of Christ when we decide it doesn’t meet our desires? We give thanks for the gifts that challenge our hearts.
Leader: Maybe it wasn’t about the gift itself and more what the gift would let us do. Maybe a tool chest isn’t exciting, but keeping our home from falling apart is important. Maybe socks aren’t the fashion statement we planned to make, but the warmth is irreplaceable. Maybe the gift of Christ and the gift of grace are one and the same, even when we don’t notice. We give thanks for the gifts that need a second look.
(Add on Christmas Eve) Leader: But maybe the problem was not with the gift but with our hearts. The gift that we’ve been given is something better than we could ever imagine, something beyond price. We have been given a savior. We have been given hope, love, joy and peace and have been asked for nothing in return. We have been given new life that we find in this unlikely yet holy place. This is what we’ve been waiting for, what our hearts have longed for, and what Christ gives to us over and over. We give thanks for this good and perfect gift.
Text of the response is Jane Marshall’s “What Gift Can We Bring”