An adaptation of an offertory meditation written by Amy Gopp for the 2015 One Great Hour of Sharing
“They voluntarily gave according to their means, and even beyond their means, begging us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in this ministry to the saints” (2 Corinthians 8:3-4).
During what the Apostle Paul calls a “severe ordeal of affliction,” the early churches of Macedonia somehow managed to “overflow in a wealth of generosity” for their sisters and brothers in need. Their own extreme poverty combined with their abundant joy resulted in this overflow, and as Paul testifies, they not only gave according to their means, they gave beyond their means. Yes, beyond their means! Even more remarkable, they actually begged to share in the “ministry to the saints.” Giving is a privilege.
Have you ever imagined what it would be like not to be able to give?
But God provides all we need, enabling us to be in a constant posture of giving. All that is ours is God’s, so everyone has a gift to give. God does not leave anyone out.
God has created a world where there is more than enough; the sheer joy of that blessing is sharing it! Giving back to God is a matter of faith—it is the natural reaction to our saying “yes!” to following Christ. Once you know the invincible love of God and the Good News of the Gospel, you can’t help but share it. In the sharing of your resources, you are living out your confession of faith as followers of Jesus the Christ.
For well over six decades, we have been putting our faith into action and making a difference, alongside literally millions of other Christians throughout North America, through One Great Hour of Sharing. This offering helps empower people across the nation and around the world.
Praise be to God!
Giving itself is a gift. A privilege. An opportunity to respond to God’s outpouring of love for you.
Giving through One Great Hour of Sharing not only changes the lives of individuals and communities in need, it changes the world.
Join our ministry of saints as we receive our offering. Let’s overflow in a wealth of generosity and feel our own hearts, minds, and lives change just as we help to improve and transform the lives of others. Amen.
One Great Hour of Sharing is a special opportunity for you and your congregation to support the life-changing ministries of the Church of the Brethren. Find worship resources for this year’s offering at www.brethren.org/oghs or give now at www.brethren.org/giveoghs .