generosity and Jubilee

By Joanne Cox | 27 April 2012

Diamond Jubilee

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’ (1 Thessalonians 5:18). 

 

I have been fortunate enough to have grown up in a world where the American festival of Thanksgiving has grown in popularity (in no small part due to the TV sitcom ‘Friends’ and their almost routine annual Thanksgiving catastrophes!).  Thus, for me, thankfulness, Thanksgiving and generosity all become associated with the smell of cinnamon spice, pumpkin pie and the clamour of dozens of people crowding into my house on cold wintery nights.

 

We use Thanksgiving (the third Thursday in November), to invite the hungry, the hopeless, local students and CEOs to share around a single table all the things that the previous year has brought them – the good, the bad and the ugly (the memories, not the people!).  As we name these things together, the hospitality of the laden table before us helps us to remember that we are called to be people who offer the hospitality and generosity of the heart as well as the home.

 

As we feast together, we do so having first feasted on the word of God – words that tell us to ‘give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.’ (1 Thessalonians 5:18).  We offer sentences and prayers of thanks to God for all that we have received over the past year, and we begin to dream about the possibilities to be hope-filled and generous throughout the year to come.

 

What are you thankful for today?  What glimpses of the Kingdom has God given you today?  And how does this help you to become a person of great generosity, offering hospitality of home and of heart?

 

Hospitality and the Diamond Jubilee

 

The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations provide an ideal opportunity for churches and church members to offer hospitality to neighbours and friends, celebrating the event together.

 

The Queen has invited the nation to join the Big Jubilee Lunch on Sunday 3 June. Millions of people will eat together with neighbours and friends as part of the official Diamond Jubilee celebrations marking the Queen’s 60 years of service. A specially-written Grace – a prayer of thanks -- starts the lunch. Churches have a key role at the heart of their communities to make this happen.

 

The 2012 Diamond Jubilee celebrations give churches an opportunity to help build community relationships, plus lots of ways to help people see that that the Kingdom of Heaven is like a party… a banquet… a big family celebration.

 

Churches at the heart of communities

Register your Big Jubilee Lunch at www.thebiglunch.com and visit www.hopetogether.org.uk for free resources so what you do locally is part of the national picture of churches serving their neighbourhoods, putting faith into action.

 

It’s not too late to plan a party to remember

 

Venue: you can hold your event in a back garden or car park, a shopping precinct or school playground. You don’t have to close a street.

 

Food: your lunch can be a simple bring-your-own picnic or a barbecue, spit-roast or banquet.

 

Planning: you'll be amazed at how local people will join in if you take the first step.

 

Help: your church could offer teapots, chairs, microphones, musicians, a wet-weather venue…

 

HOPE can help you

Visit the HOPE website for:

  • a video to download to inspire your church members
  • the words of the specially-written Grace
  • details of a special Diamond Jubilee souvenir booklet from HOPE and CPO to give away
  • drama, assembly plans and ideas to use in schools and children’s clubs
  • ideas for celebrations with senior citizens in residential care homes
  • service plans and liturgies for church services on the Sunday morning before the Big Jubilee Lunch
  • royal quizzes and community-building activities so everyone can join in and have a lasting memory of the day
  • a ‘Big Thank You’ sheet to download so everyone can write, or draw a picture, to say thanks to the Queen
  • a ‘My Prayer for Queen and Country’ sheet where children can write a prayer for the Queen, for their own family and for the nation

 

Find out more at www.hopetogether.org.uk

Posted by Joanne Cox

 The Reverend Joanne Cox, Evangelism in Contemporary Culture Officer for the Methodist Church, and member of the Hope Leadership Team. This article is adapted from HOPE for Harvest a new resource book from HOPE, the national mission movement which encourages churches to do more, together, in mission in words and action.

comments:

There are currently no comments on this post

leave a comment:

Your comment will have to be approved by a site administrator before it is shown on the site so please be patient.