I came home from church feeling on top of the world. Our special UMCOR offering for Tsunami relief almost equaled to our regular Sunday offering. I felt deep pride for the people of my little church. Over pot roast I exclaimed “Connie, you will not believe how much the people gave for the Indonesia Tsunami!” She smiled and tried to get Caleb to eat a carrot. I shared the total. She replied “That’s not that much” “Yes, it is” and began explaining. My generous wife, interrupted me: “No it’s not that much!” Surprised I looked at her, “Paul we gave _,_ _ _ “
I wish I could tell you how glad I was to learn of our generosity. Instead I responded: “We gave what?” She spoke, “I wrote a check for _, _ _ _.” Our newest car was 7 years old with over 85,000 miles. We gave over 10% to God’s work at the church. We raised two children on a beginning preachers’ salary. We (she) had just out-given the rest of the congregation. I repeated the figure aloud, shifting from joy to worry, and asking “we gave what?” Connie began to weep not for the _, _ _ _ given, but for the TV image of two Indonesian boys about the ages of our boys now facing life without their parents. It was a sacrificial gift she made. Eight years later we have not missed whatever we would have bought with the _,_ _ _ we gave. I am certain we are richer for her (our) generosity.
The Apostle Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 9: “God loves the person who gives happily. And God can give you more blessings than you need. Then you will always have plenty of everything—enough to give to every good work. … God is the One who gives seed to the farmer and bread for food. God will give you all the seed you need and make it grow so there will be a great harvest from your goodness. God will make you rich in every way so that you can always give freely. …. Thanks be to God for God’s gift that is too wonderful for words.
Let us be a generous people.