Every month, one of our pastors writes an article for the congregation as part of our newsletter entitled The Advance. Below is the article from October 2014
From The Pastor
I've a working theory about people and giving. People want to! I believe at the core of our sense of self we want to do something more than put “three squares” on the dining room table each day and pay the heat bill. We are much surer of our value when we give of our time and resources to others. We feel like we are worth something when we pay our heat bill AND someone else’s, when, after we have shoveled ourselves out of a winter storm, we help someone else who is less able.
Then why, Peter, you may ask, why are there still so many people in need of help, if people want to be so generous? You could go on to say that we seem to see lots more people with cardboard signs at intersections, and it still seems as though wealth is hoarded at “the top” and precious little trickles down to “the bottom.”
I still hold to my theory. If people aren’t generous in life, it is because they have lost their way. They may have forgotten how to be human and how important it is. They may have a sense – even if they have great wealth – that they have nothing to give, or maybe they mistrust the institutions that claim to be benevolent. After all, who hasn’t heard of tragic stories where food is donated to a poverty-stricken nation only to see it get diverted away from the need?
It remains a problem for churches, international relief organizations, local pantries, and sometimes just a person in the neighborhood, to help others get in touch with their generous side and to exercise it through a service or a benevolent organization. It would be wonderful, wouldn’t it, if people could feel as excited about giving as those described in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians (You should read more than just the snippet I quoted above. Look it up!).
The cure for our disconnection between ourselves and our true humanity is in the Thanksgiving/Advent/Christmas season. Can you hear the call from the Pilgrims, from the Christ Child, from the shepherds, from the magi to find your joy in giving? As members of the Church of the Christ Child, can you sense our requirement to be faithful both in encouraging generosity in others, but being trustworthy in managing the gifts that we receive? My Christmas wish and prayer for all of us is that we refresh and strengthen our spirit as we accept what it means to be the Body of Christ.