This week in PCUSA Mission:
Reclaiming the Spirit of Thanksgiving
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 (November 27) 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 New York City), 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.