Next month will see the nation come together to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Street parties and Big Lunches will be a great opportunity to talk to strangers, share food and spend time together. It got me thinking about the link between celebrations and generosity and reminded me that, in the Bible, the two were nearly always connected.
Jesus went to a wedding that ran out of wine. So what did he do? Miraculously and abundantly, he produced more of the finest wine than anybody needed. And what about that time he fed a crowd of 5000 people? – How many baskets of food were left over? Jesus knew how to celebrate generously.
Thankfully a miraculous skill-set is not a pre-requisite for a generous celebration.
This June, I'll be celebrating my 26th birthday. I'm finally deemed to be ‘on the wrong side of 25’, so I thought I’d start making the rest of my birthdays somewhat more meaningful. Instead of asking for presents and a party that – let’s face it – nobody will particularly remember, I’ll be inviting my friends to give $26 towards water projects with charity:water.
‘Okay...but what would you actually like for your birthday?’ my best friend said to me recently. Did I want an iPad? What about a few DVDs? I spent a while explaining that I’ve not been this excited about a birthday since I was three years old. I reckon it has something to do with finding the joy in generosity, rather than the happiness in stuff.
How else do we celebrate generously? One couple spent nothing on their wedding and donated the equivalent average cost of a wedding to their favourite cause. This man gave thirty presents away on his thirtieth birthday. Even an occasion as devastating as death can transformed into a generous celebration of the life lived.
The generosity challenge:
This month, consider the upcoming celebrations in your life. Re-imagine them as generous events, where the focus is outward rather than inward. If you want to set up a free fundraising page, you can use Stewardship's brand new website - www.give.net - to collect donations for over 19,000 different causes. Share your celebration ideas in the comments below, or on our Facebook page.
blogs by the Stewardship team and selected guest writers.