Many of you know that today has been named Giving Tuesday as a response to the purchasing frenzy that typically has been Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The impulse is great – the idea that giving needs to be as much a part of our lives as buying or consuming. The fact that Giving Tuesday is after the spending frenzy is more problematic. In the kingdom of God, giving is to be our first impulse, rather than an afterthought or a way to soothe our guilty consumer consciences. Giving as first impulse is reflected in the very character of God our Creator. The first thing that God did after creating the good world was to share it with the humans! God created, then immediately God generously gave – sharing the tending and cultivation of the good world with the image-bearers, Adam and Eve.

Giving is also foundational to our lives as followers of Jesus. Jesus’ very nature is one of generous self-giving, as Paul reminds us in the beautiful hymn in Philippians:

This is how you should think among yourselves – with the mind that you have because you belong to the Messiah, Jesus:

 Who, though in God’s form, did not
regard his equality with God
as something he ought to exploit.
 Instead, he emptied himself,
and received the form of a slave,
being born in the likeness of humans.
And then, having human appearance,
he humbled himself, and became
obedient even to death,
yes, even the death of the cross. (Philippians 2:5-8, New Testament for Everyone)

We have many opportunities to reflect the generosity of God and the self-giving love of Jesus in our lives, especially now during the coronavirus pandemic. Today, why not find a way to give of yourself and your resources, whatever they may be? Ask God to bring to your mind someone who is in need of connection today- then give them a call! Go through your cupboards or add some items to your grocery list and donate them to your local food bank or shelter. Take some extra time to pray for the healing of our world. Donate some money to a non-profit organisation who would benefit from your financial support (and if you want to donate to Henry Budd College to continue supporting our programs and resource development we would be very grateful!) Because as followers of Jesus and image-bearers of God our Creator, generosity is in our DNA, not just on Giving Tuesday, but everyday!