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The adage that it is better to give than receive can be felt in moments such as those found in a Christingle service. This is a joyful event, where the atmosphere, delight and joy of the occasion makes giving cheerfully seem more than possible as a response to our worship. But there are other ways of giving.
Remember that the person who sows few seeds will have a small crop; the one who sows many seeds will have a large crop. Each one should give, then, as he has decided, not with regret or out of a sense of duty; for God loves the one who gives gladly. (2 Corinthians 9:6-8)
Paul’s encouragement to the Corinthians was that they should give and do so generously because God loves a cheerful giver.
Paul encourages us to sow seeds. I have had the pleasure of more than 30 years of working in The Children’s Society and that has meant I have seen the results of many seeds sown. I have met young people who as small children received the encouragement and belief of an adult who cared for them. I have met adults who have grown up more stable and secure because of the seeds sown by caring people in their childhood. Those seeds have been kind words, acts of forgiveness and endurance, moments of quiet listening and respect. Those seeds were sown with no certainty that the results would be seen, but a certainty that it was worth the effort.
The more kind words, forgiveness, respect, listening and enduring love shown to children, the greater and more abundant the harvest. And, if we can behave that way with children cheerfully and gladly, even better.
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