Can you imagine? So much money pours in that your pastor calls off church offerings for the foreseeable future. What? Stop giving?
I enjoy our church’s giving box that’s discretely located in the back of the sanctuary. No plates passed. Don’t feel like a cheapskate not tossing something in. A button? Some lint? Anything’s better than zilch and a goose egg, especially when scowled at by some skeptical, greedy deacon!
Since we give by check or on-line, no one knows. Privacy-giving, yet pulling our weight. Doing our part. Being cheerful givers. Why? To grow God’s Kingdom.
Money issues mentioned in church often touch tender nerves. I’m on the lookout for ulterior motives. When someone hugs me (when that was safe, pre-virus days!), I put a hand over my back pocket, covering my wallet. Better check out the rundown condition of the building before first going in the front door. Who wants to be part of someone else’s debt problem or some go-getter pastor’s agenda needing all my money? Just kidding. Sort of.
I remember attending a church until the pastor’s wife says that she’s so excited…about our tithe. Not us. Our checkbook. Maybe she’s joshing? Maybe not. It’s what she says.
Moses in Exodus 36 organizes materials and workers for the Tabernacle, where Israel can worship the Lord. Quite a project, involving lots of people, giving lots of moolah and material.
Reading Exodus 35, we find that the Lord yearns for cheerful givers. Eager, passionate, openhanded and generous. Exodus 35:21–‘And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the Lord’s contribution to be used…for all its service’ See?
God’s work. People’s generosity. What a team! Giving so much that the workmen tell Moses that enough is enough. Stop giving! Exodus 36:7– ‘So the people were restrained from bringing, for the material they had was sufficient to do all the work, and more.’
Offering plates, locked away in a distant closet, gathering dust. Annual money pledges or finagling tithe sermons put on hold. Could this happen today?
Are we giving enough? Are you? Am I?
Thank you, Jesus, for being so generous. Amen.