How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity! - Psalm 133:1
When I was in high school, I was selected to go on a leadership trip in Washington, D.C. My mom couldn’t afford to send me. She was a single parent, and it was too expensive for her to buy me a roundtrip plane ticket and pay a hefty tuition.
The Sunday after I received the invitation, our small but mighty church passed a collection plate and collected enough money to send me on the trip. This was not a group of wealthy people for whom a donation meant no sacrifice. But they saw a person they loved in need and knew that, collectively, they could do something about it.
They decided I belonged to them and they belonged to me. They decided that because they were my village, they would do what they could, and they had faith that it would be enough.
I have channeled the memory of that collection plate often, especially when I’m broke and feel as if my offering is too small. There have been times when a couple of dollars was all I could give, and I almost let the embarrassment about the amount of the gift stop me from giving at all.
And then I remember how that collection plate changed my life. And it wasn’t because of how much each person gave, it was because of the spirit with which they gave it.
Giving isn’t about who has the most money or who can give the biggest offering. We give so that people can feel a tangible impact of our love for God and for one another. Giving is a concrete declaration that we belong to each other.
And belonging to each other means that we give what we can, when we can, to support the collective good of the church.
How good it is to belong, O God! How glad I am to offer my support and love so that others know they belong, too.
Marchaé Grair contributed this devotional to On Giving: Reflections and Resources for Pre-Generous Parishioners, an honest-to-God resource for those deciding how to financially support their churches. Order On Giving here!