The Joy of Giving

Rev. James Elsner, pastor of Prince of Peace, used this edited story in a recent newsletter. The original text was from The Stewardship Advisers "Ten for Ten" annual stewardship campaign from a few years ago, and printed in the "Prints of Peace," the newsletter of Prince of Peace, Hudson, IN.

 

A woman saw a poor barefoot child roaming the street of a large city.  She took the child by the hand to the closest shoe store, and bought the little girl socks and shoes.  With “happy feet” the little girl ran gleefully from the store.

Disappointed that she had not even received a word of gratitude from the child, the woman paid for the socks and shoes.  As she walked out the shop door, the little girl came back to the store, eyes bright with excitement.  “Are you God’s wife?” she asked the woman.  Smiling, the woman said, “No, but I am God’s child.”  The little girl said, “I knew that you were some kin of His.”

 God’s children – “His kin” - are nurtured by Him through His Word and in Holy Communion.  And by His power and grace, we are being transformed each day into His likeness.  Christ’s character becomes our character.  His goodness becomes our goodness.  His blessings to us become our blessings to others. 

And what blessings we have received!  God is the giver of all that we have!  He deserves our love and devotion, our service and our gifts!  When we give of our first fruits, we recognize God as our creator and ourselves as His possessions.  We honor God with our tithe - thanking Him for His goodness and trusting Him for His provision.

And while we honor God with our first and best, we consecrate the portion we keep for ourselves to His glory as well.  St. Paul writes in Romans 11:16:

“If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.”

In other words, along with our regular gifts and tithes to the Lord, we offer shoes and socks to those who are in need!  Our eyes are opened to opportunities that need our support.  Our hearts willingly share what we are able.  As His children, we are stewards of God’s love and generosity to those in the world around us.

During this month of November, when harvest and thanksgiving are on our minds, show that you are “His kin.”  Honor the Lord – give thanks to Him for His bountiful blessings! – with first fruits, proportional giving.  Honor the Lord by blessing and sharing with those in need around you.