If you are going to give, you’ve got to receive.
There were a couple of odd twists in last Sunday’s Gospel (Mk 6:7-13). Jesus sends out his disciples to preach, to give his Good News. But first he tells them how they are to receive. Wherever they go they are to accept the hospitality that offered them, simply and gracefully. In other words, they can’t expect people to receive from them, hear what they have to say, unless they are prepared to receive first.
Notice what they receive is different from what they give. The crucial point in appreciating what others is give me is to recognise that it is different from I have to offer. Often the complaint is made concerning a relationship, that the other is not giving like me. Yea, well, they don’t have to…because that is what ‘I’ am there to do…the other person has different things to offer, things that I cannot give.
For our relationships to flourish, especially those with adults, there has to be mutual giving and receiving. Sometimes it helps to do a stocktake, not so much on what we give, but on how we receive, what and how graciously.
Loving God, you delight in giving to us. Teach us how to receive, both from you and from those around us. May we learn how to receive graciously so that what we have to offer will be welcome. We ask this in Jesus’ name confident that you will hear us.