Giving is a heart exercise, and one of God’s unexplainable mysteries. We must know (not intellectually but in our hearts) that everything belongs to God. This mark of discipleship is the toughest to grasp because of our culture’s practices around giving and receiving and the power of resources. However, the mystery is that when we give generously and freely, we find that the more we give, the more there is to give.
In 2 Corinthians 9:1–15, Paul was on his third mission trip to raise money for the impoverished churches in Jerusalem. While in Macedonia, he witnessed an overwhelming act of sacrificial giving: The churches in Macedonia were poor themselves but collected an offering and presented it to Paul. Their giving was genuine and from the heart. Paul had not been expecting it; he had made judgments about this “poor” church and their ability and desire to give. He soon learned an important lesson: We all have something to give.
REFLECT on these familiar words: “Merciful Father, we offer with joy and thanksgiving what you have first given us—ourselves, our time, and our possessions, signs of your gracious love. Receive them for the sake of him who offered himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Today we remember Peter Claver, priest, missionary to Colombia (1654). This message was adapted from the free “Lessons for Today’s Disciples” resource written by Valora K Starr. Find out more about Women of the ELCA’s Faithful Friends giving program.
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