Bishop Ward shares the legend of the poinsettia and how God will use our gifts to help, heal, and welcome many.
Restore us, O God. Let your face shine upon us that we may be saved.
Today is #GivingTuesday, a day of generosity. Your generosity is invited through the Advance of The United Methodist Church. As generosity flows, many are helped. Psalm 80 is the appointed Psalm for the first Sunday in Advent. “Restore us, O God. Let your face shine upon us that we may be saved.”
A focus of our generosity during this holy season is Christmas offerings for Hurricane Matthew recovery. Thank you for your offerings through your district. Each district is restoring homes so that people may soon return to their households in the New Year.
Poinsettias decorate our churches in this season of Advent. The red poinsettias are reminders of a gift. The story is told in Mexico of two children who were headed to the Christmas festival. They were very poor and had nothing to offer the Christ child and so they gathered up some simple weeds along the roadside. Quietly, they made their way to the manger. They placed them gently, unobtrusively. Realizing the humility of their gift, the legend says that the Christ child, seeing their generosity, acted and those weeds burst into beautiful red flame. This beautiful Mexican flower we call the poinsettia. In Mexico it is called the flower of the holy night.
As you see these flowers in your church, as you display them in your home, as you see them throughout your community in this holy season, may they be reminders of great generosity, of humility before God, as Christ comes to us. May our offerings explode in glorious ways so that many are helped, many are healed and many are welcomed home in this Holy season.