By the Rev. Derek Scalia, Deacon
I walked into the store this morning to get a cup of coffee on my way to work. Coffee is a usual part of my morning routine. However, it is not common for me to stop at this particular location to get a cup of coffee. After a few quick pumps into the cup, I was ready to go to pay and be on my way. At the checkout counter, the clerk looked at me and said “No payment today, enjoy your day.” Maybe I looked especially haggard today, and the cup of coffee was the least she could do to help me. The fact is that she demonstrated a simple act of generosity that broke through my daily routine.
Through her generosity, I was taken out of my autopilot mode and engaged in a quick but deeper exchange with her. Generosity is far more profound than an act of kindness. It is an action that connects us with one another and a reminder of the abundance of God’s generosity to us.
In a world that is filled with excess of wealth, power, and control, generosity fills in the void with love and connection. It is a reminder that through intentional actions we can be a source of God’s love and presence to others. Generosity does not require us to give things to others. Rather your presence is the real gift. My coffee this morning was a tool for us to see one another. I am grateful to the clerk for her generosity and refocusing my eyes on the important work of my day. The work of seeing and being present to one another. May we find ourselves in daily interactions that offer us as a source of God’s generosity to one another.
As I begin my work today, I pray a prayer of thanksgiving:
Accept, O Lord our thanks and praise for all that you have done for us We thank you for the splendor of the whole creation, for the beauty of the world, for the wonder of life, and the mystery of love.
We thank you for the blessing of family and friends, and for the loving care which surrounds us on every side.
We thank you for setting us at tasks which demands our best efforts, and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy and delight us.
We thank you also for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.
Above all, we thank you for your Son Jesus Christ; for the truth of his Word and the example of his life; for his steadfast obedience, by which he overcame temptation; for his dying, through which he overcame death; and for his rising to life again, in which we are raised to the life of your kingdom.
Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know Christ and make him known; and through him, at all times and in all places, may give thanks to you in all things. Amen. (BCP p. 836)