Extravagant Generosity: The Heart of Giving

“I give thanks to the Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify God’s name forever!”
Psalm 86:12

Here at Watsonville First United Methodist Church, we believe that healthy stewardship is not concerned with how much money we have, but with what we do with what we have. Extravagant generosity is always at the heart of giving.

Speaking of generosity reminds me of one day at church, when the ushers came down the aisle to take up the offering. Little Kathy asked her mom what was happening. “They’re taking the offering and when they get here you can put your dollar in the offering plate,” her mother answered. Anxiously, Kathy replied, “But this dollar is for Jesus.”

Mom explained how, by putting her dollar in the plate she was giving it to Jesus, because of the many ways in which her gift would be used to spread God’s Word. As the plate came down her row, Kathy carefully placed her dollar in the plate, then turned to her mother and asked, “If that money is for Jesus, why wasn’t there more in the plate?” Why indeed?

Stewardship is a polite way of talking about something we don’t like to talk about, and that’s our money. When it comes to giving, we say sure, I want to be generous, but cold hard cash is another matter. The question is, are we really generous? I think it’s harder for most of us to give from the heart than we’d care to admit.

And what is generosity, anyway?

We know God wants us to live together with one heart and soul, and that means being generous, with our time, our talents and our financial gifts. Generosity starts with humility, along with a healthy dose of thankfulness and love. Generosity is putting our love into action. Or to put it another way, is this our church, or God’s church? Is it my bank account, my car, and all my stuff, mine and all mine? Or should I see it differently than that?

Generosity is the opposite of selfishness, self-centeredness, and greed. We all want to live a devout, righteous life, a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy, giving generously in the name of the Lord to our beloved church. We ask that you prayerfully consider your giving.  Please sign a 2014 Pledge Card and return it to church on Thanksgiving Sunday, November 24th, or mail it in if you’ll be away.  We thank God for your commitment!

Shalom,

Rev. Robin Mathews-Johnson
Pastor

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