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Viewpoint from Bishop Jonathan Meyrick 06/12/2013

JONATHAN MEYRICKRev Jonathan Meyrick (pictured right)
Bishop of Lynn


Well, we’ve done it again and exceeded expectations. In the middle weeks of November, still emerging from a long recession, individuals in this nation raised over 70 million pounds. Over 30 for Children In Need and 40 for the Philippines typhoon disaster
Our annual response to Children In Need is amazing and it just seems to keep growing. One of the highlights of my time in Exeter Cathedral (where I was before I came to Norfolk) was a Children In Need rock concert: several hundred people dancing in the aisles to local bands.  Part of the deal was that I got to sing some 60’s songs. That always makes it a good occasion – for me, even if no-one else! (editor's note: I know - I've seen the photos!)
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That is one of the keys to its success, I suppose. People have fun raising that money: generosity mixed with enjoyment. Jesus did a lot of that. Often it was at a party when he gave something of himself to others in need
But we didn’t need that in our response to the Philippines. We just responded to the awful tragedy with open-handed generosity. That is something to be proud of
“Give generously” is one of Jesus’ key bits of teaching, and he is often at a party when he says it. And he doesn’t mean just our money, though that is part of it. Generosity is also about how we treat other people, the judgements we make about them, the attitudes we take towards them and the way we respond to them. Its about the way we give away something of ourselves.
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I have just been to Papua New Guinea, a country in the South Pacific, to the northeast of Australia. It is beautiful and things grow abundantly. But most of the people have very little in the way of possessions. Despite that, they are very generous. In the warmth of their welcome, in their joyful and enthusiastic zest for living, in the hospitality they offer, there is huge generosity
And generosity is one of the keys to making a happy Christmas. The lights, the preparations, the presents, the fun, the feasting and partying are all  a bit hollow and unsatisfying unless they reflect true generosity of heart and spirit – open to others and able both to give and receive. May yours be truly happy and blessed!