This weekend is a weekend to celebrate giving and children!
On Friday we saw the annual Children In Need appeal come to a climax. This is a great occasion when people all over the UK help children within our own country who are in need by giving money to support various groups who help children to thrive. The vision of the charity is that every child in the UK has a childhood which is: safe, happy and Secure, and allows them the chance to reach their potential.
This morning, we acknowledge the Samaritan’s Purse Shoebox appeal where we give the gift of a shoebox filled with lovely things for children living in poverty in struggling areas of our world, to bring a bit of happiness to their lives. Samaritan’s Purse write on their website: ‘A small shoebox can have a big impact. What goes into the box is fun, but what comes out of it is eternal. Be a part of changing children’s lives all over the world in Jesus’ name through the power of a simple gift with Operation Christmas Child.’
Who knew a shoebox could do all that??
This morning, we will also witness the dedication of Sebastien Rouffet. This special ceremony where we give thanks for this beautiful gift of God and Lorna and Frankie give back their child to God for his safekeeping and care, and promise to do all they can to help their child live a life which God-centred and God-fulfilled. I read an article this week called ‘What Your Children Need Most’ and the opening paragraph said:
‘If you want your children to have a reason to sing on Sunday, give them a glorious God. If you want your children to have a reason not to sin on Monday, give them a glorious God. If you want them to think of nobler things than the latest, mind-numbing video fantasy game, give them a glorious God. If you want them to dream grander dreams than illicit sex or more money or more stuff, give them a glorious God. If you want them to have a reason for confidence when life seems to spin out of control, give them a glorious God.’
Give them a Glorious God! What a great instruction! And the thing is, our glorious God delights to give! Paul tells us that we are to be imitators of God. That means we are to model our giving after God’s giving. Love, then, is at the heart of our giving. God’s love motivates us to give generously, even sacrificially. And yes, joyously too. Christ endured the cross “for the joy set before him” (Heb. 12:2). We can’t out-give God, but we can imitate God’s example.
I pray that we will be imitators of God in our giving. And that people who we come into contact will know something of our glorious God. May it our aim this week to give them a glorious God!!