Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of November 18, 2012
- Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of November 18, 2012
The new MCC Liturgical Calendar for Year C, November
2012 through November 2013, is now posted on the Chi
Rho Press Web site.
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As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
"Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.
Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
meditation. We hope you will be blessed. Thank you
for forwarding this to your friends.
The grace of giving money
"We want you to know, brothers and sisters, about
the grace of God that has been granted to the
churches of Macedonia; for during a severe ordeal
of affliction, their abundant joy and their
extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of
generosity on their part. For, as I can testify,
they voluntarily gave according to their means,
and even beyond their means, begging us earnestly
for the privilege of sharing in this ministry to
the saints and this, not merely as we expected;
they gave themselves first to the Lord and, by
the will of God, to us, so that we might urge
Titus that, as he had already made a beginning,
so he should also complete this generous
undertaking among you. Now as you excel in
everything in faith, in speech, in knowledge,
in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you so
we want you to excel also in this generous
undertaking. I do not say this as a command, but
I am testing the genuineness of your love against
the earnestness of others. For you know the
generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that
though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became
poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich."
2 Corinthians 8:1-9
Today's Bible verses encourage the generosity of
God's people to give financially to those in dire
need. The inspired author of this material is
the apostle Paul, writing to the first century
Corinthian church in Greece. Paul's timeless
words of encouragement to complete the collection
of money for famine relief are appropriate
today. World hunger should be a Christian
concern locally and globally, wherever people
routinely go to bed hungry, and children perish
daily from starvation.
Christians must be generous in giving their money
for hunger relief, teaches Paul, because of the
example of grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus
was supremely generous and gave his all for
humanity, so we could experience the riches of
God. We are to follow the generous example of
Jesus and share our abundance with others in need.
Paul understood Jesus was very concerned with
world hunger and suffering people. But the
Corinthian church was more concerned with their
own needs and was neglecting their earlier
promise of famine relief to the Jerusalem church
in far away Israel. Perhaps we too, need this
refresher course in the grace of giving money today.
God loves a cheerful giver and is pleased when we
share our resources generously with suffering
humanity. Christians are to excel in many graces
in speech, knowledge of God, sincerity, and
love for the saints. Christians are also
expected by God to give willingly from their
abundance. When in doubt of how much to give,
consider the supremely generous act of Christ
going to the cross, and be inspired to give
without any hidden agenda or expectations of
payback, with or without interest or profitable gain.
People of faith are often uncomfortable when the
subject comes to money. Paul expands his
teachings through chapters 8 and 9 in this letter
to the Corinthians. We are to give freely from
the heart and never reluctantly or under
compulsion. As we give generously to others in
need, many will give thanks and honor God as a result.
The grace of giving financially is one very
practical aspect of our confession of
faith. Sometimes we have to put our money where
our mouth is. Talk can be very cheap. It takes
money to feed the starving, clothe the poor,
shelter the homeless, help the orphan, and reach
out with the compassion of Christ. A church that
is not giving is not living up to its fullest
God-given potential to make an impact in the
world. When in doubt, give more and not less.
All Christians, gay and straight alike, rich and
poor, are expected to open their wallets and
pockets to assist others less fortunate. This is
the heart of today's Bible verses.
Teach us, O God, to give generously to others in
need locally and globally. Help us be very
concerned with world hunger and act
accordingly. May we always be inspired through
the generous act of giving, demonstrated by our
Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Grace and peace,
Chi Rho Press
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