As we enter our season of giving, I’m contemplating this bowl of raspberries in front of me. I’m thinking about their generosity, how their gift of photosynthesis enables humans to breathe and grow and thrive. These raspberries captured the light of the sun and turned it into glucose (sugar molecule) which gives me energy/life; and their leaves are responsible for the production of oxygen for my lungs to breathe.

 

It’s humbling to think that our very existence depends on the gifts and generosity of other life forms.

 

I’m thinking now about our gifts and how we can engage in this interchange of receiving life from other sources AND giving from our own resources.

 

One of the things we learn from the earth and from indigenous traditions is how reciprocity is essential. Our culture of independence and consumerism is at odds with this idea of reciprocity and interdependence. And if we are not careful, this consumerism (taking advantage of the earth’s generosity without giving back) can have serious consequences to all life on this planet.

 

Similarly, this congregation depends on the gifts of each member, on our interchange of life-giving resources. From this perspective, giving generously becomes a spiritual practice, a way to give LIFE to this congregation and touch hundreds and thousands of lives in our community.

 

As human beings we possess the ability to generate well-being in others, and this enlarges our lives, our humanity. Generosity is a generative act that is ultimately about connection; when our gifts touch the lives of others it generates life in them and in us.

 

May we be EXTRAVAGANT in our life-giving generosity.