Scripture ~ “Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.” 1st Peter 4:10
Spiritual Focus ~ “For it is in giving that we receive.” St. Francis of Assisi
The Story ~ Stories connect us with each other and can serve to heal one another. Stories remind us that we are not alone. Sometimes a story presents a new way of looking at something we hadn’t considered. Stories can open a door, spark an epiphany or an “aha!” moment that leads to healing. Stepping into 2021, Yogadevotion devotions will share, explore and receive stories in our lives that offer healing.
This week the Christian church celebrates Epiphany, the story of the magi following a star that led them to the baby Jesus. The story includes a journey that started out with the magi being commissioned by a dangerous ruler who lied to them about why they should find the newborn king. While following the star, they journeyed to bring gifts to Jesus. After delivering their gifts, they had an epiphany, an “aha!” moment that directed them to choose a different path home. The gifts in this particular story were not only the gifts for Jesus, but this additional gift of an “aha!” moment, an unexpected gift that led them on a path of safety and life and away from danger and death.
Years ago, a dear friend of Yogadevotion hosted a party that included a gift exchange. One guest showed up without a gift and the hostess quietly went into her gift closet and found a gift for the guest to share during the exchange. The hostess brushed off any attempt by the guest to pay for the gift simply saying, “I have many gifts in my gift closet for circumstances such as this.”
This story was eventually shared in a sermon that prompted us to consider the spiritual gifts that we might have in our “gift closet”. How might we share the gifts that we have received from others like grace and forgiveness? How can we offer genuinely or intentionally our gifts such as kindness and empathy? These kinds of gifts reside in the inner sanctuary of our being.
One gift of yoga is the gift of a practice that helps us access that inner sanctuary. Whether it is through the physical practice, the philosophy of yoga, or the breath, yoga guides our mindfulness and increases awareness of our inner gift closet. When we share our gifts, that is, in the very act of giving, we experience an epiphany as we receive and become good stewards of God’s gift of grace.