Reflection: This text might well be familiar to you. For those who spend much time in church, you are likely to hear a talk on the importance of giving. This is not because your pastors are greedy (I hope!), but because any church needs to raise money to fund its ministry. This passage from 2 Corinthians, indeed all of chapters 8 and 9, are a favourite location for many a “giving” sermon.
Yet their original meaning was not raising funds to pay the local pastor. Paul is appealing to the Corinthians to be generous to the Jerusalem church. Under the generous reign of God, the surplus wealth of one group of Christians can meet the needs of poor Christians a long way away. There is more than enough in God’s economy when we learn to excel in the grace of giving.
As if to show us this is not some new dimension to the character of God, v.15 closes with a quote from Exodus 16. It comes from the period when Israel was sustained by manna in the desert. During that time God always gave enough to supply the needs of everyone, but never so that they could hoard.
It’s not mine.
It’s not yours.
It’s his, and we get to bless each other by sharing it all around.
Question: “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have” (2 Cor 8:12). How is your willingness to give?
Prayer: Dear God, please help us learn this lesson of generosity towards others and learn to give freely from what you have given us. Amen.