The Holy Awkward with Pastor Ryan

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Reflections on #GivingTuesday


The musician in me can’t help but think about giving without hearing the lyrics to the Supertramp song “Give a Little Bit.”  The song says “There’s so much that we need to share/So send a smile and show you care.”  This giving concept sure sounds really nice and giving is the meaning behind the Christmas season that we always strive to reclaim, but in many ways we have gravitated toward putting a hedge of protection around our own needs and desires when faced with change, transition, or challenge.  I don’t know about you, but sometimes the things that go on around us can feel all-consuming to the point that we numb ourselves to what a faithful response might look like in a chaotic and divided world.  It can hold us back from giving because we want to hold on to the stability, security and control that are very tempting for all of us.  And yet, even our Lord was born into a world that was not all nice and ordered.  Nor was it a world removed of fear.  With King Herod out to persecute him and an inconvenient set up in an isolated stable, Jesus was in no way born into an ideal time and place.  The prophets foretold a time where many would turn from God, give into worldly pleasures, and ultimately dig themselves into a self-centered way of life.  And I think that rings true this Advent season because it is easy for us to forget about looking beyond ourselves.  Swamped with attention-grabbing deals and a Black Friday season that has well surpassed a single day of overwhelming pressure to do and to go and to shop, the Advent season of purposeful waiting often competes in a no-win battle with pre-Christmas shopping.  

What would it look like if #GivingTuesday is less of a transactional one off, but a sincere sharing of time, heart, and self?  A change in posture?  A change in attitude?  A change in priorities?  And it doesn’t necessarily have to look like a “pay it forward” in the Starbucks line, but think of it as a refresher that is much needed.  We embrace Immanuel this season, “God With Us.”  And that in itself speaks volumes to a gift worth sharing.  How can we look at #GivingTuesday as an onramp for reflecting upon the gift of the Christ child as an inspiration for the things we do, think, or say?  How can we be the gift of Christ to someone else through our actions?  The possibilities are endless and creatively-inspired by the Holy Spirit!    

Posted by Ryan LaRock with