Friday, January 10, 2014

Through The Giving Glass

Grandpa offered this prayer on service:

DEAR FATHER, THOU hast given us the great gift of a new day. May it be unto us a FATHER'S house of love where we shall serve, not as slaves, but as free men; not as strangers, but as friends; not as aliens, but as sons and heirs as children come to their mothers when wearied. So may we come to THEE in any hour of need. May the knowledge of THY confidence and love for us enable us to bear each burden and trample each temptation underfoot.

Then right below, he left an outline for what I presume was a call to offering:

1. Hobby -- stain glass
2. Giving to people -- their reaction -- my reaction
3. Mention our giving for our new church
4. Giving should never be described as a straight line but as a circle
5. Tithes and offerings

Grandpa took up making stained-glass window decorations in the latter half of his life. He actually taught myself and my brother how to grind glass using this small, table-top device. I forget how he mounted all those pieces in the frames, but he became an ace at it. It brought him satisfaction and joy, and I infer he had quite a few recipients of his handiwork who loved it, thus amplifying his satisfaction.

I bet he considered it a form of service, not just a hobby -- much in the same way I consider my hobby of colonial dance and living history to be a way of uplifting others. Hebrews 6:10 (NIV) says: "GOD is not unjust; HE will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them." All right, I'll grant you turning a minuet with a lady and feeding the poor aren't on the same plane. But GOD gifted us with different talents and abilities, meaning we're not going to serve in the same way, nor should we.

When it comes to our wallets, though, GOD expects a little more uniformity, not by amount, but by percentage. 2 Corinthians 8:13 says: "Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality." In other words, not equal amounts, but equal sacrifice.

And that circle Grandpa talked about? 2 Corinthians 8:14 says: "At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality."

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