I preached the Thanksgiving service at my church yesterday on a few verses from II Corinthians 9, where Paul speaks about generosity.
I quoted Karl Barth’s famous phrase that gratitude follows grace like thunder follows lightning and then was bold enough to add on a few words of my own: as surely as gratitude follows grace, generosity follows gratitude.
I also made the point that generosity is about more than how we relate to money and our possessions. Being generous people means living open-mindedly. Generosity is concerned with how we relate to new ideas, how we relate to people who are different than we are, and, maybe most importantly in our fractured, polarized culture, how we relate to those we disagree with. Generosity is a way of living.
One of the things that’s become abundantly clear to me in the past few years of polarization and deconstruction is that the answer to the question: ‘What does it mean to be a Christian?’ Is not so much having a perfect set of beliefs as much as it is a set of behaviors we live out. Chief among these behaviors are gratitude and generosity.
We define ourselves at the Reformed Journal as being generously Reformed. When we use that term, we mean we seek to approach the world openly, not in fear, but with curiosity and love. Your gifts to the Reformed Journal help us do that.
Because of your gifts, a few months ago we gathered several of our writers together for a short retreat. Many of us only knew each other from these pages. Writers came from Michigan, Florida, Illinois, and Iowa, and we looked each other in the eye, built relationships, and talked about where have been and where we are heading. It was both enjoyable and fruitful. Our little publication is better because of it.
Well, maybe we aren’t so little. This is the year we’ll go over one million page views on our site. I just checked a few minutes ago and we’re at 964,430 with over a month to go. It seems obvious that our efforts are connecting with readers in significant ways. That’s gratifying.
Last year, we introduced a “But Wait, There’s More” offer to encourage our readers to give generously to support what we do.
We’re doing another “But Wait, There’s More” offer this year, featuring three books we’ll send to those who give $300 or more by the end of 2023. If you click on the link above, you’ll see details about the three books: one by Dana VanderLugt, one by Micah McCreary, and one by yours truly. I hope you’ll participate in this event. You’ll enjoy this books and help us with a cash infusion at the time of year when we need it most.
We’re committed, too, to trying something new in 2024 – a Zoom book club. The format will be simple—we’ll let everyone know in advance what the book is and give you a chance to read it. Then we’ll have an online discussion with the author. Anyone that wants to participate is welcome to do so. And I promise, we’ll continue to post new content daily through 2024—blog posts, essays, book reviews, poetry, and podcasts.
Thanks for supporting us in the past and please consider a gift to the Reformed Journal today.
Lightning Photo by Martinus.