Day is a great way to start the season of Advent
December 3, 2019
The stress of everyday living often blinds us to the blessings we enjoy. Thanksgiving Day, then, provides an eye-opening opportunity. It is an occasion to remind ourselves of the gifts God has given and to give thanks for them. Gratitude is a crucial component of Christian discipleship. Meister Eckhart, the German mystic of the Middle Ages, wrote, “The most important prayer in the world is just two words long: ‘Thank You.’ ”
However, before last week’s Thanksgiving Day observance ended, Black Friday had already begun. Retailers opened their doors before many had finished their Thanksgiving meal, and Black Friday specials were purchased several hours before Friday dawned. Even more shopping specials were offered online on Cyber Monday.
On the heels of these two commercial events, a third post-Thanksgiving tradition has emerged that redirects our priorities. Giving Tuesday, which is being observed today in more than 150 countries, exists for one purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving. Giving Tuesday is billed as “a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.”
As followers of Christ, Giving Tuesday is a wonderful way to begin the Advent season and celebrate the coming of Christ by moving our focus from materialism to something deeper. As we support the many faces of our worldwide mission on Giving Tuesday, we are provided the opportunity to express our gratitude to God for all God has done for us and the household of faith. Through our participation, we can help be a healing presence to a world in need, being a church of action and reaching out to our siblings who are most marginalized.
Today, as you ponder the giving opportunities before you, please consider the work of your church. Presbyterian Mission and many congregations are participating in Giving Tuesday. You can support the work of the national church by visiting the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Giving Tuesday webpage.
As we reflect on our blessings and are inspired to respond to God’s generosity, let us remember that we’ve been called to be a Matthew 25 Church, to live out God’s call to act boldly and compassionately so that faith comes alive and the world wakes up to new possibilities. Let’s lift up our church. Let’s lift up and live out the mission of Jesus Christ and be a powerful force of light and salt in this important time as we celebrate the coming of Christ.
Lauren Rogers, Mission Specialist for Special Offerings
Today’s Focus: #Giving Tuesday
Let us join in prayer for:
Let us pray:
Eternal Light, through your gift of Jesus Christ, our hearts receive the light of blessing on this day and each day. All I am and all I do is by your grace. You are Creator God and by your power you created the world and declared it good. On this day I give you praise and thanksgiving for the energy and life within me.
I give thanks for your gift of creation. May I be a trustworthy steward of your gift.
I give thanks for the gift of work I am called to do. May all I do be a reflection of your goodness.
I give thanks for friends and times of laughter. May I extend friendship in the name of Christ.
I give thanks for those who have made my life possible. May I be mindful of relationships.
I give thanks for your unending mercy. May I show mercy and kindness.
I give thanks for times of rest. May I rise renewed.
O God from whom all blessings flow, may my heart be filled with your light this day.
May I be open to receive your blessings that I may be a blessing to others.
Rev. Rosemary Mitchell, Senior Director for Mission Engagement and Support