Generous. When you hear this word, what images or thoughts come to mind? We may conjure up images of a trillionaire giving money to his or her favorite charity or establishing a foundation; or maybe Oprah Winfrey giving everyone in the audience a car. We may even recall the widow’s mite from Mark 12: 41-44:
“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling His disciples to Him, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.’”
This Scripture verse causes me to pause, and reflect, “How do I/we live self-sacrificially to honor God?” This is about more than giving our clothing and food to help those in need; more than giving a tithe and/or offering; more than donating to nonprofits. This is ultimately about honoring God with our gifts. That really is the reason behind our giving and to the level in which we give.
As I approach this Thanksgiving Day celebration, I am aware of the self-sacrifice many are making for the health of others. I will not be gathering with my family in Chicago this year. I am doing so out of my understanding of Wesley’s call to “Do No Harm,” and to honor the lives of my neighbors whom God loves.
My prayer is that we embrace the prayer of Julian of Norwich, “God of goodness give me Yourself; for You are sufficient in me. I cannot properly ask anything less, to be worthy of You. If I were to ask less, I should be always in want. In You alone do I have all.” Amen.
May this devotion provide you with a moment of faithful reflection and care. You are involved in ministries of justice and witness, in ministries of standing up and standing with people working to create better systems and communities, in ministries of learning and searching and researching to become more aware and awakened, more technologically savvy and proficient, more virtually and personally present in your churches and communities and world. Each of us who serve as members of your Wisconsin Cabinet write these devotions in grateful prayer for you – for sustenance and buoyancy, for strength and courage, for safety and just actions, and for faith and love to be full and fulfilled in your daily lives. God’s grace and blessings, God’s challenge and healthy discomfort, God’s Spirit and energy be with you, in the hope Christ offers us all.