It is a well-documented phenomenon that the Sunday church crowd is the rudest and the most stingy with gratuity at restaurants.
Don’t be part of that phenomenon. Always overtip. Even if the service is inattentive or distracted, remember a couple things:
(1) These folks work for a wage that hasn’t gone up since 1991; and
(2) Everybody has bad days. You never know what somebody has going on in their personal life, and some of that is bound to play out in their ability to interact with graciousness and generosity to you.
It is our task, as followers of Jesus, to be the example of compassion, forgiveness, and generosity to others. That’s an important thing to remember on the day that this epistle wends its way to your inbox.
Today is Boxing Day. It is December 26, the day after Christmas. Well, it’s the Second Day of Christmas, actually. Christmas is ongoing, but that’s another conversation.
It became tradition in Britain to celebrate Boxing Day on the Second Day of Christmas, a day to exercise generosity to laborers, servers, and folks generally less fortunate than perhaps we are. It has nothing to do with reboxing and returning to Walmart or Amazon all the trinkets you don’t want and the clothes that don’t fit.
Exactly where the tradition originates is uncertain. It’s somewhere around two hundred years old, but it’s a good one. It reminds us who are more fortunate that we tend to overlook quite a lot of people who are doing jobs we often scoff at for wages that are far below what they ought to be.
Now, maybe you are, in fact, in a service or labor industry and your paychecks don’t go as far as you need them to. I recognize that. I recognize that most of us are one failed paycheck away from a financial disaster.
I also recognize that there is always someone more stable than I am, and there is always someone in a more precarious position than I am. My job is to be generous and compassionate with what I have.
So on this Boxing Day, I invite us all to consider what we can do to be a bit more generous, to help someone who is often overlooked. The gap between those who have and those who don’t is growing, and the middle class is dwindling. Let’s see what we can do to alleviate that, and maybe start to advocate for more stability for all God’s children.
Maybe the theology of Boxing Day can spread to be a theology of generosity for every day.
Isn’t that what Jesus calls us to do?