THE GIVING SEASON
We have entered into what some call “The Giving Season.” This season is generally the last five or six of weeks of the year. More specifically, it begins Thanksgiving and continues through New Year’s Day.
During this time of year, people are more inclined to give and share in charities and with others. Some would characterize it as the ‘Christmas spirit.’ That is, the feeling that some have during this time of year where they place spare change in the red kettle, donate to the ‘adopt a family for Christmas’ campaign at work, send money to the ‘save the hungry children’ campaigns that are advertised on television and greatly anticipate giving gifts to family and friends.
Indeed, all of these are noteworthy causes and opportunities to assist others who may be less fortunate and in need of assistance from others outside of their close associations – who many times have equal to or less than they do. Additionally, helping and assisting others, who are genuinely in need, is always a good thing, and supported by our Biblical teachings.
While I affirm that giving during this season has benefits and value, I am also challenging us that our giving should not be localized exclusively to this time of year. If you will remember during the Thanksgiving season, many children of God shared that thanksgiving (or giving thanks) is not something that they localize exclusively to the third Thursday in November, rather, every day is a day of thanksgiving – a day to give thanks.
Similarly, I am challenging us, as children of God, to adopt a belief that giving is not something that we localize exclusively to the last month of the year, rather, every day is a day of giving. Even more, as we give, I am challenging us to not limit our giving to our money (which is the easiest, less personal and less effective way to give), and give also of ourselves – our time, our experiences, our resources, our passions, our values.
Paul reinforced this concept through the example of his own ministry and through the words of Jesus, “35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’” (Acts 20:35). We are all aware of how we are blessed when others give to us, and how those blessings benefit us and make us feel. Jesus shared, however, that the greater blessings go to the ones who give. The greater blessings go to the ones who open their hands and hearts, in addition to their wallets, and give.
Finally, I shared on last Sunday that we gave a donation to Bishop Daniel to assist with his ministry in Uganda, East Africa. Whereas financial support is allocated each year in our budget, we will be sharing additional ways that we can partner together in ministry in the coming year.
Bishop Daniel also sends this thank you:
Your generosity will make an immediate difference in the lives of the orphans and vulnerable children at the Humble United Methodist School. The funds raised will go towards scholarships, scholastic materials, food, firewood, supplementing the teaching and support staff salaries and buying chickens for twelve needy families for Christmas.