The Cost of Giving
I will not give to God that which costs me nothing
2 Samuel 24:24
It had been a hard winter in the Appalachian area. The snow had piled up deeper and deeper, the mercury dropped, rivers froze, people suffered. The Red Cross used helicopters to fly in supplies.
One crew had been working day after day--long hours. They were on their way home late in the afternoon when they saw a little cabin submerged in the snow. There was a thin whisper of smoke coming from the chimney. The rescue team figured they were probably about out of food, fuel, perhaps medicine.
Because of the trees they had to put the helicopter down a mile away. They put on heavy packs with emergency supplies, trudged through heavy snow, waist deep, reached the cabin exhausted, panting, perspiring.
They pounded on the door. A thin, gaunt mountain woman opened the door and the lead man gasped, "We're from the Red Cross."
She was silent for a moment and then she said, "It's been a hard winter, Sonny, I just don't think we can give anything this year."
The irony of this story makes us chuckle. Yet, all of us can relate to those times in which a hard times makes giving a challenge. When the opportunity to give is presented before us, it’s quite natural for us to take stock of what we have.
David, in obedience to the Lord, was to build an altar on the threshing floor of the Araunah the Jebusite. Araunah desired to honor King David and give him the oxen and yokes of wood for the sacrifice. However, David understood that to offer to the Lord that which cost him nothing was not a true spirit of worship. True worship is weighty and of value. True worship has worth. David bought the oxen and wooden yokes because grateful worship costs us something.
Fred Craddock reminds us that the major themes of the Christian faith – caring, witnessing, loving, hoping, and giving cannot be understood without risk. In giving we trust our future into the hands of God.
As HUMC continues to wrap up the 2018 stewardship commitment, I invite you to pray for HUMC and the year of ministry ahead. Commitment cards and service area cards can be placed in the offering plate on Sunday, given to the financial secretary during the week, or mailed to the church office. Giving is risky, but the greatest risk of all is not to place our future in the faithful hands of God.
See you Sunday,