November 18, 2018

Thanksgiving and Generosity

Passage: 2 Cor 9:6-15

This time of year in our culture is largely dedicated to consumption. We are getting ready to consume vast quantities of food on Thanksgiving. We are preparing to buy loads of Christmas presents. Businesses are trying their best to convince us to participate in all the sales coming up—black Friday, cyber Monday, etc.

Of course, this time of year is also dedicated to giving. Many of us will be the beneficiaries of generosity over the next few weeks. We’ll receive plenty of food and gifts. People will be generous toward us, and we’ll be thankful. On Thanksgiving, we especially remember how blessed we are, and we want to return thanks for all the good things we enjoy.

In the Bible, we find a clear connection between generosity and thanksgiving. In the text we are looking at today, both ideas are prominent. Generosity is the cause of thanksgiving. When you are generous, others are thankful to you and for you.

As we approach Thanksgiving and think about all we have to be thankful for, we should also renew our commitment to generosity. When we are generous, thanksgiving abounds, both to those who are generous and to God.

We should understand a bit about the context of these verses. Paul had previously coordinated with the mostly Gentile churches outside Jerusalem (Greece and Turkey/Asia Minor) to collect an offering for the poor saints in Jerusalem. He sent someone ahead to make sure the Corinthians were prepared to participate in this offering. If Paul showed up there to collect the offering and the people were not ready to give, it would be a rather awkward situation.

This passage talks a lot about generosity and thanksgiving. These two ideas are connected here, and they should be connected in our lives as well.

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