Scripture Reading: James 1:17-27
17 Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18In fulfilment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth, so that we would become a kind of first fruits of his creatures.
Generous hearts are what we are called to demonstrate in our lives. For some, I think being generous of spirit comes naturally. For most of us, it is a life time discipline we must practice until we perfect it. Generosity must be intentional to be meaningful.
A friend who was raised on a farm, as I was, and I were talking to another friend who has always lived in the city about the challenge of dealing with garbage. I really do not remember how we got off on this but, I said, and my friend with a farm background concurred, when we were growing up we tossed our garbage: potato peels, apple cores, left overs that would not keep for another meal out the back door where they were quickly consumed by the free range chickens roaming about the yard—problem solved. Of course if everyone did that in the city, it would result in problem created. What was good stewardship of our planet in one setting was a health hazard in another.
Answering the call to be generous requires us to be thoughtful about the outcomes of our giving. Sometimes our time and talent is needed as much or more than our treasure. Sometimes our treasure provides for the time and talent of others more prepared to address a need than we are.
Prayer: God of the Harvest, gift us with the generosity needed today to make all whole, to make us one, and to bring justice throughout our world. Guide us in the prudent application of such a gift as this. Amen.