So this week Michelle Brennemam gave us a great reminder about why giving is so important for anyone who is trying to live as a follower of Christ. This was, of course, followed with a chance for all of us to give in a practical way. I think that rather then looking at things primarily in a devotional way, we can learn much more on this topic by looking back on our own past experiences.The gospels are full of statements about Jesus like this one in Matthew 4:23; “Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.”
Hearing about how Jesus healed people is not new to someone who’s given the New Testament even a momentary glance. Jesus’ miraculous healings were an enormous part of his ministry in the world. I think that it’s sometimes easy for us to read these stories and thin that this was really something easy for him to do. He had the power so he healed people, not so hard right? Well, let’s think about it. In order for Jesus to heal people of the lowest standing in that society, because much of the time that’s who they were, Jesus had to mingle and associate with the people of the lowest standing in society.
Here’s the first question I would want us to consider. When it comes to ‘giving more,’ who should we be giving to? Are we giving to those closest to us, geographically, who need it the most? And finally, are we willing to really associate with, befriend, and minister to those people?
It’s easy to say that it was easier for Jesus because Jesus had the power, well what kind of power do we hold that we don’t use to help those around us? If there’s anything Jesus demonstrated in the gospels beside his incredible love and power, it must be the humble attitude he was always able to keep. Can you imagine a Jesus who isn’t humble? So much of what know about him would cease to exist.
Let’s take some time to discuss or thing about, if you’re comfortable.
- What was the most humbling experience you’ve ever had?
- When have you ever had an experience with ‘the lowest’ in society?
- What are some of the greatest experiences you’ve had of ‘giving more?’
- How could you as an individual, or as a group, make the effort to give more?
If you, or your group, want to commit to giving more then take some time to discuss the practical side of this idea. How would you do it? How will you organize it? How are you going to keep each other accountable.
Lets make not just this Christmas, but the coming year about giving more.
Hey, just a thought about the “lowest” in society: Could the “lowest” simply represent those with whom I’d prefer not to associate? People who make me feel uncomfortable? I actually have an easier time chatting with a homeless person on the street than making conversation with various other groups!…For example, years ago, when we were looking for a new home, at one point we were looking in a significantly more affluent area. I was reluctant to consider it seriously…I knew I might have a hard time fitting in with people who hang out at golf clubs, hire housekeepers and landscapers, and own 2 SUVs, and I just didn’t want to deal with that. I remember talking to God about it, thinking that of course we must have the same view, and hearing a surprising kind of rebuke…”What if I sent you there? What if I sent you to befriend and serve them?? What would you do?” It was eye-opening, and I never looked at class distinctions the same way again.