The Call to Contagious Generosity

Ken Schafer

A Love for The Season

I love that people who don’t love Christ still love Christmas.

Many years ago, I attended an NBA game with some Sikh friends. Sikhism is an Indian religion with a fascinating history, and together, we enjoyed discussing spiritual things. One of the men caught me by surprise when he said, “I love the way my mother does Christmas. She does it right. All the fixings.”

Come again?

Christmas Minus Christ

Sikhs are well known for being moral and trustworthy, but they aren’t Jesus people. Christmas is NOT on their ecclesiastical calendar. Even so, my Sikh friend loved Christmas food and somehow caught the idea of Christmas, though he was far from Christ.

People who don’t love Christ still love Christmas. Why?

Because there’s nothing about Christmas not to love. In one season, we get joy to the world and peace on earth. Everyone wants that! Even non-believers want to be optimistic that joy and peace are possible on our planet.

That kind of hope is contagious, and so the call to contagious generosity this Christmas season.

A Time of Generosity

You know what else is hopeful and contagious? Generosity. It’s not an accident that pretty much everyone you know becomes more generous this time of year, whether they’re Christians or not. We give gifts to each other and special offerings at church. Donations to nonprofits are highest throughout the Christmas season, and we make special efforts to make sure underprivileged people are cared for as the weather gets colder.

Giving is one of the most optimistic things we do. I think every gift we give is in some way an expression of hope—hope that our gift will bring a smile, make a difference, or even improve the world. Christmas was irresistible to my Sikh friend because it is a season filled with generosity and hope.

There are all kinds of reasons to be generous. After all, God commands it, our culture expects it, and it’s fun! But this year remember that Jesus brought us hope. And we get to give that very same hope away. The call to contagious generosity is ours to answer.