Sept. 8 – Christ Over All

one outside the crowd

I admire those who carefully weigh becoming a member of a particular congregation. However church membership is a small, even trivial, decision when compared with the cost of discipleship under Jesus Christ. Prospective members often ask if they will be expected to tithe, give ten percent of their income. Like many television evangelists I soften… Continue reading Sept. 8 – Christ Over All

Plenty of Green Grass

Miracle stories are problematic. Until the middle ages, miracle stories were considered proof of God working in and through a particular person. Renaissance scholars sought explanations that aligned the text with scientific explanations of the laws of nature. Today miracle stories for many people have become barriers to faith. In this week's Gospel lesson Jesus feeds… Continue reading Plenty of Green Grass

Giving All

US Flag reflecting among names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall

For many years I evaded and avoided Veterans Day events. After hearing a speech by a veteran about honor and service to country, all the veterans present would be asked to stand, often by branch of service, so that those who did not serve might thank them.  These events often make me feel that my… Continue reading Giving All

Committed to Giving – Saturday

Offering Plate

Happy are generous people, because they give some of their food to the poor. (Proverbs 22:9) The book of Proverbs includes many wise exhortations. It is true that the generous are happy. Why is this the case? The generosity described in this selection from the book of Proverbs uses a specific illustration: giving some of… Continue reading Committed to Giving – Saturday

Committed to Giving – Friday

Offering Plate

Everyone should give whatever they have decided in their heart. They shouldn’t give with hesitation or because of pressure. God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:7) How beautiful is your conception of God? How deeply have you come to know and appreciate the love of Christ? If you haven’t yet seen God as the… Continue reading Committed to Giving – Friday

Committed to Giving – Thursday

Offering Plate

“Instead, collect treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moth and rust don’t eat them and where thieves don’t break in and steal them. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:20‑21) Jesus tells us that we should “collect treasures…in heaven.” We should put our resources toward the eternal. While we should be… Continue reading Committed to Giving – Thursday

Committed to Giving – Wednesday

Offering Plate

Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I assure you that this poor widow has put in more than everyone who’s been putting money in the treasury.” (Mark 12:43) There is an unfortunate myth that prevails among many Christian people that the only gifts that can truly make a difference are those that are… Continue reading Committed to Giving – Wednesday

Growing in Charity

Gifts and offerings are very different. Gifts come from our of wealth. "How much can we afford to spend on Christmas presents this year?" Offerings share our feelings of gratitude. “WOW! I get paid for doing this! I want someone to share in my happiness!" In the story of the widow's mite, Jesus and his disciples are watching… Continue reading Growing in Charity

Committed to Giving – Tuesday

Offering Plate

“Bring the whole tenth-part to the storage house so there might be food in my house. Please test me in this, says the Lord of heavenly forces. See whether I do not open all the windows of heavens for you and empty out a blessing until there is enough.” (Malachi 3:10) Like the people of Israel,… Continue reading Committed to Giving – Tuesday

Committed to Giving – Monday

Offering Plate

“You must reserve a tenth-part of whatever your fields produce each year.” (Deuteronomy 14:22) The Bible is unapologetic in discussing our income, possessions, and generous giving. In the Old Testament, the offering was not determined by a percentage of income but instead consisted of sacrificing a portion of crop and livestock yields. The act of… Continue reading Committed to Giving – Monday