From the Pastor–Sharing for a Fair Balance

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Have you ever experienced or observed the following?  A group of friends goes out to dinner.  When the server delivers the bill to the table, the group spends an inordinate amount of time determining how much each person owes.  Perhaps the group wants to make sure everyone pays the exact amount they owe or perhaps a member in the group is worried about paying more than “their fair share.”   Now contrast that experience with the group of friends who go out to dinner and when the bill is delivered, they quickly agree that each person will pay the same amount that will be enough to cover the bill and tip, without thinking about who ordered what and how much it cost.  What’s the difference between these two groups?  What values and beliefs are they expressing through their actions?

Our scripture for this Sunday is from II Corinthians 8:1-15.  In this passage, the Apostle Paul is encouraging the church at Corinth to complete and excel in the generous undertaking for the saints in Jerusalem, who were experiencing a famine.   To Paul, this relief fund represented the Gentile churches’ partnership with their Jewish brother and sisters in Jerusalem.   In Romans 15:27, Paul writes “if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings.”  So he encourages them to give to the fund according to each individual’s means, saying the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.  He encourages them to share out of their abundance to provide for their need, so that there may be a fair balance.

What does this passage mean for you and me in today’s world?  What does it mean for those of us who are extremely wealthy compared to those who are poor around the world?  What might it look like for us to share out of our abundance?  What could motivate us to share?  We’ll explore some of these questions this Sunday.

Pastor David


Watch the video of the service from June 27th for more on this topic.

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