November 12, 2017: You Are TOO Generous!

Posted on : Nov 9th, 2017 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

I love the scripture reading for this Sunday, Exodus 36:2-7, with its focus on the generosity of the people of Israel during the building of the Tabernacle.  While there are many places in the Bible that refer to the requirement to tithe, i.e. giving 10 % of what you have to God, our lesson for Sunday emphasizes the fact that the people gave willingly and gladly so much so that Moses had to send word for the people to stop giving!  Wouldn’t it be amazing if that’s the message churches had to send out to their members:  “We’ve got more than we need.  Stop giving!”  Unfortunately, that’s not something we usually hear.  Too often it’s more about how there is a shortfall in the budget or an emergency that requires more money.  Our scripture lesson and the chapter before it, Exodus 35, states over and over that the people gave willingly according to how they were led and according to the gifts they were given.  So it wasn’t just money they were offering – they were giving the things they had made:  craftsmanship, beautiful woven cloth, carpentry work, their intelligence, design ideas, leadership abilities, and more.  Their talents inspired them to such an extent that they wanted to give.  For them, it was about so much more than just money.  It is a very rewarding experience to have a talent for something and to be able to share it with others.  Nothing motivates like being invited to express yourself with something you’re really good at.  That’s exactly what happened with the Israelites as they built the Tabernacle.  They were excited about sharing their gifts.

As we enter the Stewardship season, where we meet the challenge before us on how and what we can give for the coming year, it’s also good to remember that this is the Thanksgiving season as well.  They go hand in hand.  We give because we are thankful and we are thanked because we give.  While monetary gifts are important, since they allow us to operate the church and fulfill our mission, it’s more important I think to reflect on the lesson from Exodus.  What are the talents I have and how can I use them?  How is God calling me to share?  How can I make sure I’m giving because I’m excited about using my gifts and because I’m grateful to be given a chance to share rather than from a sense of obligation?  If we can do that, then our stewardship is truly giving with thanks.

This Sunday, Ann-Terese Riordan, Doug Galt and I will be sharing the sermon time with you focusing on “Why We Give to our Church and What We Receiving from Giving.”

Blessings,

George Lynch

 

~ This Sunday’s Scripture ~

Exodus 36:2-7

Moses called together Bezalel, Oholiab and the workers to whom God had given skills and understanding and all who felt inspired to volunteer for the construction and set them to work.  Moses gave over to them all the offerings that the Israelites had donated for the construction of the sanctuary.  The people continued to give freewill offerings, morning after morning, until in time the artisans who were doing the various jobs in the building of the sanctuary came to Moses saying, “The people bring far more than we need to complete the work which YHWH has commanded.”  So Moses sent word throughout the camp that neither woman nor man was to make any further offerings for the sanctuary. So the people no longer brought gifts, for what was given already was more than enough for the work to be done.

Leave a Reply