A day that is an opportunity to count blessings
November 27, 2018
The stress of everyday living often blinds us to the blessings we enjoy. That is why Thanksgiving Day can play such a wonderful role in our lives. It is an occasion to remind ourselves of the gifts that surround us 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.
Now in its seventh year, #Giving Tuesday was created by the 92nd Street Y, a cultural and community center, in partnership with the United Nations Foundation. It is billed as “a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.”
On #Giving Tuesday, we can put aside the shopping emphases of the past few days and reclaim the focus on gratitude that we experienced last week. As Christians, our generosity is rooted in our gratitude to God, and Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to bear witness to that gratitude by making gifts to causes we hold dear.
Today, as you ponder the giving opportunities before you, I hope you will 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.
#Giving Tuesday, like every day, is an opportunity to count our blessings. This practice is both intentional and never-ending. As the late George A. Buttrick, the longtime pastor of Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church in New York City, said, “We need deliberately to call to mind the joys of our journey. Perhaps we should try to write down the blessings of one day. We might begin; we could never end; there are not pens or paper enough in all the world.”
Just like the blessings of God, the needs of our world are endless. Motivated by your gratitude, your gift today can help shape a world that reflects God’s love for all people.
Pat Cole, communications specialist, Presbyterian Mission Agency.
Today’s Focus: Giving Tuesday
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Peggy Dahmer, PMA
Kerri Daly, PMA
Let us pray:
Gracious God, while our lives overflow with your blessings, our gratitude is often meager. Forgive us, O God, and help us to be mindful that every moment we live is a gift from you. Out of our sense of gratitude, may we be people who give generously of our time, talent and treasure. Amen.
Morning Psalms 12; 146
First Reading Zechariah 11:4-17
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 3:10-23
Gospel Reading Luke 18:31-43
Evening Psalms 36; 7