"All gifts I give my brothers are my own."
(See Part II Practice Summary, and also Part II Introduction)
This lesson is obviously a companion to yesterday's, "All gifts my brothers give belong to me." We receive all the gifts our brothers give, and we also receive all the gifts we give. Of course the reverse is true as well: Everything any brother or sister gives, they also receive, and they receive all the gifts we give as well. Everyone receives everything. It must be so because we are all one.
"Each one allows a past mistake to go, and leave no shadow on the holy mind my Father loves" (1:2). The gifts we are speaking of are gifts of forgiveness in which we let a past mistake go, instead of holding on in unforgiving grievance about it. When I give such a gift, I am blessed because the shadows of that past mistake are removed from my mind. The shadows no longer obscure the truth about my brother; my forgiveness shows me Christ in him.
Therefore, we not only receive a gift every time one is given by someone else--a smile, a word of mercy, an act of love--we receive a gift each time anyone else receives a gift! "His grace is given me in every gift a brother has received throughout all time, and past all time as well" (1:3). When Jesus looked at the woman caught in adultery and said, "Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more," and she received his gift of forgiveness, I received a gift as well as she.
Our treasure house is full, says the lesson (1:4). "Angels watch its open doors that not one gift is lost, and only more are added" (1:4). The fact that we may not be aware of these gifts makes no difference; they can't be lost. Every loving thought is treasured up and kept for us; not one is lost. The treasure of love just keeps growing, just as God keeps eternally expanding and extending.
You know, if we could really get a grasp on these thoughts our lives would be transformed. We are being showered, deluged, with gifts of love in every moment. We have the rich inheritance of all the love for all of time, "and past all time as well" (1:3), to draw upon. Our perspective is so horribly constrained by our self-inflicted isolation! We have no idea how rich we are.
But I can come now, today, this moment, into my treasure house. I can "come to where my treasures are, and enter in where I am truly welcome and at home, among the gifts that God has given me" (1:5). I can remember all the gifts I have and guarantee them to myself by giving them away, as Lesson 159 instructs us:
"There is no miracle you cannot give, for all are given you. Receive them now by opening the storehouse of your mind where they are laid, and giving them away" (W-159.2:4-5).
The treasure house is in my mind; the gifts are all there. I can recognize I have them by giving them away. It's like keeping the circulation going. And since all the gifts I give my brothers are my own, giving them is how I know I have them, and how I keep them. That's another way to understand the lesson theme: The only gifts I have are the ones I give away. So let me today give love to my brothers, give joy to my brothers. Let me offer peace of mind to everyone. As I do, the gifts will be mine.
If we feel uncertain how to go about claiming and recognizing all these treasures, this deluge of blessing, we can join in the prayer that closes this lesson, phrased to recognize the fact that we do not, as yet, recognize all these gifts, and asking for instruction in doing so:
"Father, I would accept Your gifts today. I do not recognize them. Yet I trust that You Who gave them will provide the means by which I can behold them, see their worth, and cherish them as what I want" (2:1-3).
What is the Last Judgment? (Part 6)
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