Good Friends, it is Friday, December 18, 2015.
Count the hours to Christmas Day, 168 hours, plus or minus a few.
I am reminded this Christmas season of the generosity of some folks. Some will make one-time gifts to help pay off a church mortgage, or a charitable action to a family or two that have an empty refrigerator and food pantry. Sometimes a pair of shoes for school would be the ideal gift for a student who tries to hide the fact that a hole in the bottom goes unnoticed only so long.
A young man, I came to find out, made a charitable donation of his eyes to an eye bank, pieces of his sternum to a bank that will share this with others needing this kind of cartilage, and part of the bone that will enable research to proceed for a possible discovery or cure. On a personal note, I have marked my driver’s license with a little heart indicating that I am a donor, in the event that I am in an accident where my recovery to a quality of life might not happen. The heart indicates my wishes.
I often thought that the scripture text of John 3:16referred to God’s gift of Christ on the cross. I am now rethinking that I missed the initial gift of God during this Advent season. Or maybe it always was, and I just did not get it?
Generosity cannot be a season of the year. Generosity must be a lifestyle of a church, folks in the pew and a community that decides that no child go hungry at night and have decent clothes be made available for school. I believe that we live in a generous church that can achieve what it puts its soul in saying, “With the help of God, this must be done.”
I thank God for folks who have been generous to me and my family over my lifetime. To name the names would require a ream of paper. First, I will say, I thank my parents, siblings and my beloved wife – Edna and children – Paula, Frankie and Stephen. From there, the generosity of God flows like the overflow of David’s cup in Psalm 23.
This Christmas, look around. Ask God to help you spot the sacred in the most unlikely of people, places and circumstances. Then ask the tough question, “What do you want me to do, Lord?” Your action will be a gift that transcends this one moment and could ultimately give one of the world’s greatest need: Hope.
The young man’s name is Kelly. He will be celebrating Christmas with Jesus. I got a glimpse of generosity in the grandest of scale through the actions of his family.
Good Friends, seek the sacred. God is waiting.