February 2015 Blog
Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead---since he was about a hundred years old---and that Sarah's womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God. Romans 4:18-20 NIV
I met someone recently whilst out walking the dog who I had not seen for some months. "How are you I asked" and back came the reply that his wife had died just before Christmas and he was feeling very lonely. We often make all sorts of assumptions about the people we meet, our neighbours or the community we live in. Within all our communities there are people who are struggling for all sorts of reasons, there are people whose faith has grown cold, and people who need to see what faith looks like and what God looks like through the lives of those who trust him. This means learning to be generous with our faith.
During Lent this year as a Church we will be supporting the 40acts of kindness initiative led by the Stewardship Trust. As their website reminds us, "Lent is usually about 'giving stuff up', isn't it? What if you could add something and make a difference. What if you could give up chocolate and give the money to your favourite charity? What if you could turn the TV off and spend more time helping your neighbour? What if Lent was a preparation for a lifetime of big-heartedness that reflected God's amazing generosity? Well, that’s where 40acts – the generosity challenge from Christian charity Stewardship - comes in. This Lent as an individual you can sign up to receive a daily post and challenge by email."
Like most of us I have learnt the value of generosity from my observation of others, as a young child it was my mothers example, later in life from people who generously gave of their time to encourage me, and I can name a lot of people who were generous with their faith and showed me what it was to trust in God. In the reading above Abraham did not weaken in his faith despite the physical weakening of his body, there are people surrounding all of us who need to see what faith look likes, they need us to be generous with our faith.
Go on! Be generous this lent.