To claim that these are not tough times would be stretching the truth. For most of us, the past couple of years have been financially challenging. The economic climate has affected all of us in some way, whether we’ve experienced the loss of a job, the foreclosure of our home, or the seemingly daily rising costs at the gas station and the grocery store. We’ve had difficult choices to make as we face our own hardship and declining resources.
At the same time, our sisters and brothers are struggling to get by in the developing world and in parts of North America where disaster has struck or poverty exists. And the global food crisis is still, indeed, a crisis. It’s just not in the headlines.
So we are not alone. We are in this together; we share a planet and we share so many of the same dreams. Sometimes those dreams are as simple as finding a job, providing our family with enough to eat, a roof over their heads, medical care if they get sick, and making sure our children get to school. Yet so many do not have a way to earn a living, enough to eat, a home to call their own, medical attention, or access to education. Some don’t even have adequate clean water, let alone a way to put a nutritional, hot meal on the table or a way to pay for school fees.
What is absolutely clear, though, is that THERE IS ENOUGH to go around. God created a world of abundance, where there are enough resources to feed and sustain the entire world. Yes, the entire world. Scientists, development theorists, and economists alike know this to be true. The World Food Programme confirms that “There is enough food in the world today for everyone to have the nourishment necessary for a healthy and productive life.”
Friends, this is good news! There truly is already enough! But some have more than others. Even during economic challenges, most of us receiving this update will not go to bed hungry. So our task is to share that good news of enough by sharing what we have. Whatever it is we have to give counts—regardless of amount—whatever you have to give counts! “For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has—not according to what one does not have. I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance” (2 Cor 8:12-13).
God is a God of compassion. God has given us life and a world where there is already enough for all and has granted us free will so that we, together, might act in one accord as the body of Christ on earth to collaborate on how we might share this world of enough in ways that ensure that everyone gets a part of the plenty.
This is what the ministry of Week of Compassion is all about. For 67 years we have been making a difference, sharing joy through this offering which funds relief and development all over the world. Your gift to Week of Compassion ensures that people in need will get what they need. Your gift moves us one step closer to making sure that everyone gets what is rightfully theirs, just as God created the world to be.
And “through the testing of this ministry you glorify God by your obedience to the confession of the gospel of Christ and by the generosity of your sharing with them and with all others, while they long for you and pray for you because of the surpassing grace of God that he has given you. Thanks be to God for this indescribable gift!” (2 Cor 9: 13-15)
God provides. All that is ours is God’s, so everyone has a gift to give. God has created a world where there is more than enough. The sheer joy of that blessing is then sharing it!
My hope is that you will discover the joy in sharing the indescribable gifts only you can bring this Week of Compassion.