by Lisa DeRosa
On December 1st, we recognize the necessity of generosity and awareness in our own lives and for the lives of others in this place, this God-created world we call Earth. Each day, we rise and are blessed. We can choose to be grateful for and accept ourselves and others as they are; made in the image of God. We can choose to love God and love others.
As we begin this last month of 2020, the year that has wrecked us in more ways than one, I find myself asking: How is this year going to end? I know when it will end. Like it does every year; with my birthday on the 31st. But unlike most years in the few decades I have lived on this earth, the end of this year feels just as different as the months before it. Uncertain. Unpredictable. Uneasy. Yet, each day, I remind myself that all I have is this day that God has gifted to me. Tomorrow is not guaranteed. I have the capacity for only today. In light of that, I want to share with you some opportunities that December 1st brings us.
Today is the 8th anniversary of Giving Tuesday, “a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.”
I have heard of Giving Tuesday before, but this year, I almost overlooked it! An unexpected package arrived from Circlewood and reminded me that they celebrate Giving Tuesday as “Reverse Giving Tuesday” where they as an organization send a gift to their supporters. This year, we received homemade blackberry jam made with the blackberries they foraged on their land on Camano Island. Such a lovely gift and reminder that this day is important and must not be forgotten.
Giving Tuesday provides an opportunity for us as a consumer culture to remember to give back after our Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday shopping sprees. While I am a HUGE fan of Small Business Saturday, the consumer still receives a commodity for their purchase. Giving Tuesday is about generosity and placing the needs of others above your own by donating time, talents/skills, money, and/or resources to support others in need. This list of ways to give back in 2020 was really helpful for me as I researched more about Giving Tuesday this year.
As today is also World AIDS Day, I urge you to consider supporting them on this Giving Tuesday. HIV is a virus that was identified back in 1984 and still affects an alarming amount of people around the world today. I know we have been inundated with the current Coronavirus pandemic, but the AIDS epidemic cannot be ignored. There are ways you can help to raise awareness, to give online, and to join their campaign using this virtual red ribbon to #rocktheribbon on social media and in your email signature.
In the spirit and hope of beginning traditional Advent this week, take time right now to ask Jesus how you will respond today. There are an abundance of opportunities, organizations, and neighbors that are seeking generosity and awareness this season. If you don’t already know which person, people group, or cause to focus on, ask Jesus to guide you! He absolutely will because he came to seek and save the lost, lonely, and broken on this earth. As we focus on the light that Christ has brought to us in this season and on the light that he is, we as followers of Jesus are called to share that light with others.
Matthew 5:14-16 (ESV) says,
You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
God, I am humbled by the gift of this day and the love You have for me and others in Your creation. Thank You for Your presence, for who You are, and for the opportunity to share Your love and light with others. Guide me in who You are asking me to reach out to specifically today. Amen.