Have you ever imagined what brings joy to the Holy One? We might wonder specifically how our sharing makes the heart of God sing. Scriptures help us understand this more fully; God seems to be pleased by:
- steadfast love, justice, and righteousness (Jeremiah 9:24),
- the well-being of God’s people (Psalms 35:27b),
- a generous hand outstretched to help another (Matthew 22:37-40),
- a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7)
It seems that God experiences joy when we take actions that restore the well-being of God’s children everywhere. What a marvelous concept to think about: not only are we blessed over and over again by God, but we also have the opportunity to bless God! When we reach out to others with helping hands, we share love and justice with our brothers and sisters with whom we are one.
In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul seemed to highlight financial gifts first as he encouraged the Corinthian church to give to the collection for those in need in Jerusalem (2 Corinthians 9:6-15); but sharing never stops with coins or bills. Just as it was for Paul, the Corinthians, and the recipients of these gifts who lived in far-off Jerusalem, money is often the logical and practical step to providing the tangible gifts others need. In our century, the funds we gather together and share during our Week of Compassion become very real gifts of love, joy, and restoration. Indeed, they work to change lives around the world, around the year.
When we cannot physically go to meet needs in person, our gifts are sent together to assist others. Knowing we willingly share with them, others are reminded of who they are: beloved children of the Creator, family of us all, each one a person of sacred worth also imbued with possibilities for sharing joy. Thanksgiving to God will abound, and even more people will come to see how the Holy One works in and through us. Surely such a sharing of joy makes God, our Divine Parent, joyous for a world made better by love.
As you commit your offering to Week of Compassion this year, remember the myriad of ways your gifts bring joy, to you as God’s precious child, to all of God’s cherished children, and especially to the Holy One. Share cheerfully and abundantly, knowing that you are not only sharing your resources, you are changing lives.
May your worship this Lenten and Week of Compassion season be meaningful. May your sharing be delightfully abundant. May God be made glad by your cheerful generosity.
As always, thank you. To God be the glory!
This Week’s Responses:
Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance:
California, Vandalism to First Christian Church Oakland and Oakland Peace Center
Mississippi, Tornado Relief
Development & Long Term Recovery and Rehabilitation:
Balkans, Peacebuilding and Development