FPC Daily Advent Devotional // Wednesday, December 20

In my life as a high school teacher, coach, and service program coordinator, I've been a grateful witness as my students brought and experienced joy by sharing themselves with others. We traveled to Nicaragua to volunteer with an organization an alumnus founded that empowers children in under-served communities through the sport of swimming. While we were there, we dined in the homes of some of the children and their parents. On their dirt floors, within walls of plastered-over chicken wire, and no indoor toilet, we shared a very simple meal in mutual joy. We found joy in their hospitality. They found joy in its giving. 

- C.W. Stacks
We've long heard that it is more blessed to give than to receive, but in my experiences with my students what stands out is how our efforts were received.  
As I have seen those being served receive our gifts with joy, I have come to realize that the way we receive gifts can have as much impact as the gifts we give. The gifts themselves become magnified. The smile on the face of a child mastering a bicycle, the glee of a young woman dancing with people who enjoy being with her, the pride of a youngster who has just learned to swim - witnessing how others receive our gifts can empower and inspire us and bring us joy.  
How will you receive the gifts of this season? How will your joy be magnified to others? 

Lord: Help us find opportunities to bring joy to others. Help us also to recognize and receive well the many blessings that we experience each day. May we be made joyful knowing that we all are children of God. Amen

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