Nov 25, 2012
Sermon delivered on Sunday, November 25, 2012, at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa, Oklahoma, by Rev. Barbara Prose, Assistant Minister.
Do you remember the Lone Ranger? The iconic American hero, who
rode into towns along the Western frontier, saved the day, and then
rode away before anyone could thank him? As we leave Thanksgiving
behind and head toward the great gift exchange season of Christmas,
I’ve been wondering why it is so difficult for many of us, not just
the Lone Ranger, to receive.
Paradoxical as it may appear, giving is often easier than receiving. Not just material gifts, but gifts of friendship, trust, and even love. For some, once we receive and recognize a gift, we feel we also owe something in return. Others may believe they are not worthy of receiving.
No matter which role you prefer, this ancient tradition that traces back to the ancient Babylonians, the Druids, and the Romans, depends on both – a giver and a receiver. Sociologists, psychologists, and economists agree that gift exchanges have been, and continue to be, a powerful force for communities and civilizations.
We explore the significance, the benefits, and the risks of gift exchanges, past and present.
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