Readings for the 21st Sunday after Pentecost

1 Chronicles 29:1-6,9-18; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15; Mark 12:41-44

     Picture yourself getting out your checkbook and writing a check to the IRS for taxes owed. How did that feel? Now picture yourself, perhaps later that same day, sliding a crisp $20 bill into a graduation or birthday card filled with tender words for someone you love. How did that feel? Both were acts of giving, but what a difference in spirit!

The readings this week all tell different stories of faithful giving to the LORD. King David led the Israelites to give their offerings for the new temple “willingly” and “freely”, even rejoicing as they did so (1 Chron 29). The poor widow of Jesus’ day is commended by him for her meager offering of a single penny (Mark 12). And St. Paul uses the Christians of Macedonia as an example of what bountiful, cheerful giving looks like (2 Cor 9).

In each instance, the critical question is not how much they gave, but how they saw God. Is God a Taker, always demanding more than we can spare? Or is He a Giver, always providing more than we expect or deserve?