“The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind… God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. As it is written,
‘He scatters abroad, he gives to the poor;
his righteousness endures for ever.’
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way for your great generosity, which will produce thanksgiving to God through us; for the rendering of this ministry not only supplies the needs of the saints but also overflows with many thanksgivings to God.” [2 Corinthians 9: 6, 9-12]
When I was in seminary my New Testament professor used this text which he boiled down to three words: grace, recipiency, thanksgiving. He spoke of God’s free gift of grace which we receive and then when we understand what the grace we have received truly means we respond with thanksgiving which benefits others. Peterson in The Message uses a couple of wonderful phrases to translate the idea. He writes: “He throws caution to the winds, giving to the needy in reckless abandon.” Then the text continues, “This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God.”
I share this with you because I have been amazed by the response from the congregation as we collected for the Montgomery County Covid-19 Response Fund and then the diaper collection. When I wrote about it this past week a number of you responded indicating that you wanted to do even more. Thank you Sharon, Sue, Marlene, Kathleen, Vicki et al. Then I spoke to Beverly on the phone and she told me that she looked at her monthly credit card statement which showed a lot of white space because the usual trips out to dinner were missing so the balance was very minimal. She and Scott decided to take the money they normally would use to go out and sent it to feeding ministries like Philabundance. How wonderful. The next day I opened the mail and found that Ann had endorsed her stimulus check and signed it over to Resurrection! When we spoke about it she indicated her hope that the funds would be used in a similar way. Another amazing example of grace, recipiency, thanksgiving!
I am certain that there are other acts of generosity that I am not even aware of. I know one individual bought lunch and had it delivered to a local firehouse in support of their efforts. Another couple went to a local family owned restaurant and did take out leaving a very generous tip.
I am also grateful to those sending in their offering or dropping it off on a regular basis. We still have bills to pay and your support and generosity makes life easier for our treasurer and pastor! In an effort to save money Bill and Chris have been replacing the lights to LED in offices, hallway and Kinder Hall. Thanks to Bill and Neal for covering the cost.
Talk about understanding abundance. Grace, recipiency and thanksgiving are truly being modeled, and I am so proud that Resurrection Lutheran is living out what I have been trying to teach these past 25 years.
You all rock!!
The Rev. Ellen Meissgeier