The theme for One Great Hour of Sharing continues from last year’s theme, “Sharing Brings Joy,” but adds the focus of bringing joy to Others.”
Our first thoughts about how our gifts bring joy to others most likely focus on the tangible results of our sharing:
- a family displaced by natural disaster or political unrest is grateful to receive food, shelter, and the comfort of a safe place to begin to rebuild their lives
- anyone who had to walk miles to get water for their family, smiles as a well is dug in their community, bringing clean water within reach
- a farmer whose harvest succumbed to the storms, is thankful when offered food, water, and new seed, helping her to make it through to the next harvest
Of course, when we “sow bountifully” by giving to others, we reap bountifully by sharing in the joy that our gifts bring to those whose basic needs are met.
But in Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians, he reminds us of another way our giving brings joy to others. In encouraging the Corinthian church to give to the collection for the believers in Jerusalem, he reminds them that when the Jewish believers receive gifts from their non-Jewish sisters and brothers, they will be moved by the gifts themselves, and by the unity in Christ the gifts represent.
Knowing there are those who would share willingly with them, they are reminded of who they are: beloved children of the Creator, each one a person of sacred worth.
Across social and economic lines that should have separated them, followers of Christ reached out to support one another. The awareness of another’s need allowed them to recognize their own abundance as a gift from God, one they were called to share.
This year, as you make your offering to One Great Hour of Sharing, remember the joy your gifts offers others, is hope. Sow bountifully and share abundantly, knowing that you are not only helping change the statistics, you are helping change lives. Please give generously!