After Gray Thursday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, you have an opportunity on #GivingTuesday to make a huge difference to organizations that make a difference to people who are struggling. Why should you take the time to go online and give away some of your money? Quite simply, because you can. More to the point, because Jesus tells you that you are helping him when you help those in need. Perhaps most importantly, because Jesus has given you the privilege of caring for the poor and suffering regardless of your theological perspective, ideology or politics.
You want to share Jesus’ love, help someone who’s struggling and ensure the world reflects God’s justice. That’s why it’s time to say, “Lord, help me see what I can do right now!” If you do, you’ll discover that one thing God needs you to do that you can do with more passion, joy and love than anyone else. It may seem simple and small. Even easy. But it won’t be for those for whom you’re doing it. In fact, it may be the best thing they’ve experienced in a long time.
You have shared Your light through the birth of a child who brings Your love, Your forgiveness, Your justice, Your joy, Your hope and Your eternal life.
Too often, however, we lose sight of Your light in the bright glare of life. In the neon lights of stores trying to sell happiness. The car headlights taking us here and there in a frenzied hurry. The spotlights we try to shine on ourselves. And, even, the beautiful twinkling lights of this season.
Yet Your light is still here. Burning so brightly nothing can extinguish it, and beckoning us to come to it. And so we begin our journey to the manger, filled with expectant hope that comes from knowing we will be met by the light of the world, Jesus.
Listen. Then listen again. Listen with your heart. Listen with the expectation that God is speaking a Word to you. It’s a gentle Word telling you how much God loves you. It’s a convicting Word calling you to experience your life differently. It’s a transforming Word enabling you to live in a brand new way. It’s an incarnate Word offering you life that is both abundant and eternal. Yes listen. Then listen again. And listen with the absolute certainty that you are going to hear God’s voice because God is speaking a Word to you.
What do Gray Thursday, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday share in common? They try to con you into thinking buying stuff is the heart of Christmas. But what if you were to spend half the time you normally shop with your family? Or give a portion of the money you usually spend to make a difference in the lives of struggling people? Or make a list of things you are thankful for as long as your shopping list? Doing these things won’t change the world – but they may change your Christmas.
It seems trite in so many ways, but uttering two simple words is the only place I know to begin this Thanksgiving Day. And so I do. Thank You.
Thank You for being the God of all creation who loves me as a precious child. Thank You for Your gift of life in all its richness and infinite possibilities. Thank You for Your grace that is more powerful than any force in the universe. Thank You for Your call on my life and how it allows me to share in Your work. And thank You for people to love, those who love me and all the blessings that make my life so comfortable while so many suffer.
There’s one more thing, Lord. And while it also seems trite, I have to say it. May my giving thanks not be limited to just a day, somehow crammed in-between the parades, food and football. Instead, may I give thanks to You with every single breath I take beginning now and lasting throughout eternity.