Generosity as a Test of Courage
When the Coronavirus “stay at home” orders started we had initially heard a timeline of 2-3 weeks and were hoping to be back in church by Easter, but now it is looking like it might be a matter of months. So what do we do if this situation turns out to last even longer than that? What if we find some relief but then it comes back in the Summer or Fall, or after we start to reopen businesses and life?
The answer is: We keep the faith! Keep doing what you’ve always known is right; keep living out the high calling of Christ. Yes, circumstances are changing, but faith does not have to. The apostle Paul put it like this in his letter to the Colossians, “Continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel” (Col 1:23).
Among the habits of heart and life to which we are called is generosity. Just because life is more difficult than before does not mean we should stop being generous.
Scripture: Mark 12:41-44
Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
Jesus lifts up the widow as an example of generosity, not because she gave a large gift, but because she gave a significant gift amidst difficult circumstances. She did not have a large savings account, and she had no financial margins; she gave all she had for God’s ministry. Imagine the kind of courage it took for her to give it all away and trust God with the results.
Now contrast the widow’s approach with that of the people who are currently hoarding resources like toilet paper, food, and hand sanitizer… What the world needs at this time is more sharing and less hoarding of material goods. And more clinging to the cross of Jesus, who gave everything he had for us.
This is a wonderful opportunity to be an example to the rest of the world about what it looks like to be generous, especially in the face of difficult circumstances. Ask yourself “how can I share what I have with others this week?”
Generous God, who through Jesus Christ gave us everything we need for our lives and for our salvation. Empower and encourage us to give what we have for our neighbors and, ultimately, for your kingdom. That you may be glorified and that your children may live in peace. Amen.