“The practice of generosity describes the Christian’s un-selfish willingness to give in order to make a positive difference for the purposes of Christ.” Robert Schnase Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, 2007, p. 112
Several years ago, the Rev. Ken Timmerman preached a sermon that included a story from his childhood. It seemed that at a council meeting at his grandfather’s church, folks were having an animated discussion about whether or not they should do some project or another. The grandfather was adamant that they should not do whatever it was that had been suggested. They prayed and they argued around and fussed and shared facts and opinions and finally called for a vote. The project was approved. Ken said that his grandfather was furious; it was written all over his face. But then his grandfather spoke up and said, “I don’t like this not one bit, but if it is the Lord’s will, let me be the first one to put a piece of money to it,” and he took out his wallet and laid some money down.
That story has stayed with me over the years. I think of Ken’s grandfather being generous to God’s purposes even when he could not see the sense in it himself. Ken’s grandfather’s gift was neither selfish nor self-serving, but an obedient response to God’s generosity to him. God has been so generous with all of us, giving us life, and a place and community in which to live, and a Savior in whom to trust into eternal life.