My spouse and I have set up planned giving in our will. In the coming years, I hope to increase the amounts. Every time I think about this, it feels good. That really says something because those gifts require me to die.
Perhaps that’s true for any gift worth giving: There is a cost. In the Gospel of John, Jesus says, “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” Then he goes on to say: “Those who love their life lose it” (12:24-25). This is true for our selves, our time, and our possessions, as stated in an offering prayer in Evangelical Lutheran Worship (p. 107). In giving, even sacrificial giving, that aligns with our deepest values, we find life. We give because God asks us to, of course. But we also give because it nourishes and delights us, releases us, and makes us more whole.
This message is excerpted from “Money memories” by Lisa A. Smith in the September/October 2022 Gather magazine. Today we commemorate Ignatius, Bishop of Antioch, martyr, c. 115.
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