Generosity. Scripture, reflection and prayer.
2 Corinthians 8:1-7 "And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving."
Reflection. Each time time I read this passage, I find myself wondering about preaching generosity and giving in the life of the church. There is no way that God calls people into destitution by their giving. Yet, many churches find themselves struggling and folk sit in nice houses and own multiple cars, TVs, computers, phones, shoes, etc, etc...and that is just me and mine. How generous am I? Do I beg myself earnestly to give more to the work of the Kingdom of God?
There is a touch of irony towards the end of the passage. St Paul knows that the church in Corinth felt very good about itself. So Paul uses their arrogance and self-importance against them. As you are so good at so much of the Spiritual life, how about excelling in generosity as well, he suggests. What does this say to me today?
Prayer. Lord Jesus, help me not to ignore your call upon my bank balance. For my transformation and your glory. Amen.