Gratitude and Generosity
Last Sunday was Commitment Sunday. We've spent the Fall reading Ezra/Nehemiah and letting it shape our approach to the enormous project and vision ahead of us. Now is the Time, we've been saying. The Church calendar ends on Christ the King Sunday. Most often it is the Sunday before Thanksgiving. So we have three themes to weave together: The Reign of Christ, gratitude and generosity.
There's this great glimpse of how God does things in Nehehiah 8. This huge crowd is listening to Ezra reading God's Word. Overwhelmed by what they are hearing, tears stream from their eyes. We're not sure whether the tears come from regret, grief, or disappointment. But the leaders encourage them to wipe their tears because this is a day to celebrate. And so they do. Nehemiah says, "Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them."
The people respond to their corporate "ah-ha" - now we understand - moment by celebrating with good food and good friends; making sure that there is enough for everyone and that everyone gets enough. And that's it. God's way is worth celebrating. Gratitude and generosity is the best way to do life.
Kate Kotfila is Pastor of Cambridge United Presbyterian Church. She and her husband David live in Jackson. They have two adult children & a faithful (if clueless) Plott hound, Arnie.