Giving is one of the great paradoxes in our world. We hear this in many forms, but the core idea is “in giving of ourselves, we always receive.” Have you found this to be true? I think this lesson resonates in our lives in countless ways: when we volunteer, when we help another, and when we give financially. We find this truth expressed in all of the world’s major religions. The author of I John in the New Testament reminds us: We love because God first loved us. (4:19). I believe we are able to give because God has already given so much to us. God has put this impulse to give deeply within our hearts. We want to be people who learn to be generous, as God is to us.
We wrap up our giving campaign this week as we reflect on John Wesley’s instruction to the Methodist: earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can. We receive many messages in our world that tell us to hold on to what we have, to think of our own needs first. But who taught you to give? Did it come from a parent? Or perhaps someone you admired? When I think of the generous people I have known, they were people whose desire to give always had an impact. It made the rest of us want to be like them and share in the blessing of being able to help others. Sunday, we worship God who is extravagant in giving to us. We worship to receive and live God’s love so we are inspired and prepared to share as God does.