I know a congregation that sponsored a young refugee family in the 1970s, helping them to settle into a new life in this country. The refugees were not Christian, but they accepted the Christ-inspired assistance of this Lutheran congregation. As the family assimilated to American life, contact with the congregation waned.
Fast forward 20 years. One of the children from the refugee family was ready to marry. With thanksgiving for the support received from the congregation years earlier and in celebration of their child’s marriage, the family sent a significant monetary gift to the congregation. The giving had come full circle.
In 2 Corinthians 8:13b-14a, Paul points out that “it is a question of . . . your present abundance and their need.” The congregation and refugee family lived out that fair balance.
Later in chapter 9:6-8, Paul admonishes that “the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.”
What seeds are you sowing? Consider designating a gift to the specific ministry of Women of the ELCA. Our grants program, for example, supports annual domestic and international grants that “promote healing and wholeness for the church.” Help transform lives. Give bountifully.
This message was adapted from “Sow Bountifully” written by Linda Post Bushkofsky that first appeared in the November 2008 issue of Lutheran Woman Today (now Gather) magazine.