Friday, May 22, 2015

Red Nose Day

Friday, May 22, 2015
A cheerful heart is good medicine… Proverbs 17:22 (NLT)
Celebrities, red noses and money – for thirty years there has been no more successful fundraising in Britain. 

Now it’s here in the U.S.

Well, the British invasion of the Beatles in the 1960’s was pretty successful; now we have Red Nose Day™.  Last night was the schedule for Hollywood’s “A-List” to gather and make fun of each other while thousands (perhaps millions) of American viewers send-in money for charity. 

According to the website the funds will be used (as in Britain) to address the woes of primarily children in poverty.  The funds are to be used 50% in America and 50% worldwide, for
        ·        Keeping them safe by reducing levels of violence, exploitation & abuse
        ·        Educate them by improving access to good quality basic education and helping them 
               with job training when they grow up
        ·        Make sure they’re healthy by giving them access to primary healthcare, clean water 
               and sanitation.

Now, you might ask, Russell – you are a pastor; what in the world are you doing promoting what Hollywood is doing?  Aren’t they the godless ones?

Well, let me be really clear – I don’t approve of a lot of what I see in the entertainment trade – I abhor both the proliferation of violence and sexual perversion, and the overt political agenda-mongering of most of that industry, which contributes to a degenerative moral effect on culture in general, and the young children who get caught-up in viewing the trash (and later emulating it).

But, on the other hand, in this case, if the money raised is going to help children, I’d stick a red nosed ball on my own face and let them throw pies at me all day long to help!

Which leads me to list one caution about giving to such events…and other so-called charitable fundraisers; sometimes as much as 90% of the money you send-in, following a solicitation call, is used to pay for the salaries of people making the calls, as well as other ”necessary expenses” – while only 10% winds-up actually helping those in need.  (I found no information about this on the Red Nose web page.) 

Well, can’t the church do a better job than that?

Yes – Yes – Yes we can; and we do – and we should do more!  A good case in point is The United Methodist Church’s Nothing But Nets campaign against malaria (malaria is responsible for one-fifth of all child mortality in Africa[2]).

A mosquito net costs $10, and your $10 donation buys a whole net, possibly saving the life of a child.  100% of your donated dollar goes into buying mosquito nets.  

Now, with all that done, why am I a red-noser supporting the likes of movie stars, rockers, comedians, rappers, Kermit the Frog and a host of other celebrities I would never want to meet?  I’m taking the approach that the children are worth it!

For those of you who need a proof text from Scripture….one day the disciples of John the Baptist got upset because crowds were beginning to follow Jesus instead of their guy.  They pitched a fit and went to John for him to call down some fire on the followers of Jesus.  Here’s what the Baptist said:
“No one can receive anything unless God gives it from heaven…I am filled with joy at his success.  He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.  
John 3:27, 29-30 (NLT)

For You Today

If God has touched your heart to stick a red clown ball on your nose to help children – wonderful.  If He has touched your heart to donate to buy mosquito nets – better!

Either way…ANY way…EVERY day…respond to God’s touch and call. 

For a follower of Jesus Christ, it’s ALWAYS Red Nose Day!

[1] Title image: By Red Nose Day (TM) (Eigene Vektorisierung) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

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