How can we be generous with our time, talents, money, smiles and attitude?
We are using the time up to and including Christmas to explore the Holy Habit of ‘Gladness & Generosity’. The inspiration for thisis Acts 2:46 in which the disciples respond with‘glad and generous hearts.’ Some of the activities that we will undertake together are: filling shoeboxes with gifts for families in Eastern Europe, distributing knitted angels with messages of hope during Advent, throwing a Christingle Party, and giving out free tea and coffee at the Cemetery on Christmas Day.
I encourage you to actively seek out ways in which you can put this habit into practice every day. Why not begin by using the attached post-it note to write down three ways in which you could be more generous – put this note somewhere prominent (e.g. on your bathroom mirror), so that you will see it every day and review it regularly.
Here are some suggested activities that you could undertake in order to exercise your‘spiritual muscles’ of gladness and generosity …
Keep a journal to regularly consider the question, ‘What am I glad for today?’
Conduct a generosity audit of your life – how do you use all that God has given you?
Take inspiration from initiatives such as ‘20 acts of kindness’ - see this video for some ideas to get you started - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFTBBKIX760
Are there ways in which you could be generous in forgiving?
Could you register as a blood/organ donor?
Choose a charity such as ‘Love Russia’ and find out about their latest campaigns e.g. support their work with those who are the victims of decriminalised domestic violence.
Watch a film such as ‘Alvin & the Chipmunks’, ‘The Blind Side’, ‘Dogville’, ‘Elf,’‘Marvellous’ or ‘Pollyanna’ specifically looking out for examples of gladness and generosity.
And here are ways in which you can continue to develop the holy habits of Biblical Teaching and Eating Together, building on the work we have been doing over the last few months.
Study themes of gladness and generosity in Genesis 28:10-22; Luke 10:25-37; 1 Corinthians 2:4-9; and Psalms 42, 43 and 100.
Try an alternative aspect of Eating Together by fasting for part of Remembrance Sunday.
Finally, as a way of exploring gladness, are there stories of celebration, either of good news or of ways in which you have grown in resilience despite life’s circumstances, which you would be willing to share with the rest of the congregation as a testimony? If so, please let me know.