November 2019 Newsletter
“Have you ever come on anything quite like this extravagant generosity of God, this deep, deep wisdom? It’s way over our heads. We’ll never figure it out.” (Romans 11:22, MESSAGE translation)
One of the many fond memories I have of my grandmother is that she loved drinking hot tea. She wasn’t very particular in the kind of tea she drank but liked it very weak, often reusing the same tea bag throughout the day each time she filled her cup. Whenever I had sleepovers or visited with her, we often shared a cup of tea together. For her daily cups of tea she would use a regular tea cup, but for me, she would pull out her fancy china tea cups and saucers proudly displayed in her glass cabinet. I always picked this beautiful pink cup with a rose on it and just loved sipping tea with my grandmother in her fancy tea cups, the tea just tasted better! I share this story because it provides just a glimpse of what the extravagant generosity of God looks like in our daily lives.
The dictionary defines the word extravagant as lacking restraint in using resources, exceeding what is reasonable or appropriate, and even is defined as absurd. God’s generosity, is nothing less than extravagant, and can even be seen as absurd or even a little inappropriate for our standard of living. When it comes to giving, God always takes it one step farther, not just sending us a Savior but sending us God’s own Son. Once you experience God’s extravagant love you cannot help but develop a lifestyle of generosity, offering not just a cup of water but a cup of tea in a fine china tea cup.
The month of November often brings up reflections on thanksgiving and gratitude and so it is my hope that we spend some time this month praising and celebrating our generous Creator and reflect upon our own practice of generosity. My preaching this month will center on God’s extravagant generosity as I use a resource from Bishop Robert Schnase’s book on The Five Practices of Fruitful Living.
My grandmother’s pink china tea cup now sits in my own china cabinet and I will pull it down every now and again for an extravagant cup of hot tea. This month may we all marvel at God’s generosity, for there is nothing quite like it, and reflect upon the way in which God’s generous giving changes us.