This past week our country has faced the crisis of people being laid off from work, not being able to find everything they need in the grocery stores; then there are people working in hospitals and doctor’s offices being at risk… yet I know that people are still pulling together to help one another. I am a member of a neighborhood group and there are many messages from people offering to help in all sorts of ways, people taking food to persons they have never met, others helping the homeless and it makes me proud to be a part of these people.
There are people who help out the needs of their church every week by giving in a free-will offering. They are old, young, short, and tall. There are those who are dressed nicely, and some not so much. They all go forward to put something of themselves in the offering plate. I have observed that some stop a moment before putting their envelope in, saying a silent prayer, some cross themselves and some simply put it in and keep moving. It makes me think of the story in Mark 12:42-44 Sitting across from the offering box, He was observing how the crowd tossed money in for the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins—a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, “The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford—she gave her all.” She gave from her need and that impressed Jesus.
Luke 10:33-35 “A Samaritan traveling the road came on him. When he saw the man’s condition, his heart went out to him. He gave him first aid, disinfecting and bandaging his wounds. Then he lifted him onto his donkey, led him to an inn, and made him comfortable. In the morning he took out two silver coins and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take good care of him. If it costs any more, put it on my bill—I’ll pay you on my way back.’ Jesus told this story after one of the disciples asked, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” The answer was, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
The Good Samaritan not only gave the man care on the spot he also provided for his care until he got better. Would you do the same?
Do you think you don’t want help from anyone? Do you have too much pride, or are you ashamed to accept help? Matthew 10:40-42″We are intimately linked in this harvest work. Anyone who accepts what you do accepts me, the One who sent you. Anyone who accepts what I do accepts my Father, who sent me. Accepting a messenger of God is as good as being God’s messenger. Accepting someone’s help is as good as giving someone help. This is a large work I’ve called you into, but don’t be overwhelmed by it. It’s best to start small. Give a cool cup of water to someone who is thirsty, for instance. The smallest act of giving or receiving makes you a true apprentice. You won’t lose out on a thing.”
Did you know that “accepting” was as good as “giving”? I have always had a problem with it myself, I always wanted to be on the helping end, but you see that not accepting what someone gives to you is taking a blessing away from him or her!
Luke 6:37-38 Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, and criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier. Give away your life; you’ll find life given back, but not merely given back—given back with bonus and blessing. Giving, not getting, is the way. Generosity begets generosity.”
I am proud of the citizens of my hometown and their generosity to their neighbors this week