Re-gifting. According to Merriam-Webster, “To give someone a gift that was previously received from someone else.” But wait, you knew that! After all, we just celebrated Christmas. Maybe you just unloaded, perhaps I should more gently say exchanged some of the things you received from Christmases and birthdays past that just weren’t right for you but seemed a “perfect choice” for someone else. Our motive speaks a lot to this. Is this re-gifting a thoughtful way to provide someone we care for with something we value, or are we dumping something off like it’s the Old Maid in a card game and we’re just plain cheap? You decide.

Let me provide all of us with a perfectly acceptable and commendable practice that exemplifies re-gifting. It has much to do with how and why we celebrate Christmas and the message from that moment that we are to carry forth and announce. It began with shepherds outside Bethlehem. Stinky, uneducated, unsophisticated shepherds, who in their time were pretty much despised by the orthodox members of society for being “unclean” by strict ceremonial standards. The rap on shepherds was that they were untrustworthy . . .  their testimony was not even valid for legal matters. And yet, God entrusted to those poor and simple shepherds the opportunity to be the first to witness the birth of Christ and be heralds of this great news of God’s gracious gift to mankind.

Why shepherds, we ask? Perhaps because they were simple folk, just like you and me. Maybe because they represented all who needed cleansing, just like you and me. That message, that gift of information they were given and bore excitedly is the same life altering gift God has given us to share with our personal worlds and beyond . . . “On this day in the town of David (Bethlehem) a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. “ (Luke 2:11) Have you truly received this life-giving gift? If so, the Spirit of God within you is giving you opportunity after opportunity to generously share this gift with others. He’ll point you to the right people if you ask and will sing with delight as you engage in the greatest re-gifting exchange imaginable. Angels in the bible often say, “Fear not!” I agree. Be bold in God and see what wonders He will perform through you, fellow shepherd. Think About It.