So I’ve heard (and given) quite a few sermons on generosity, specifically on giving to the community of faith that you belong to. I know that sometimes the perception of organized religion is one of a money-making business, and stories about Jesus turning over the tables in the Temple (or reading any of the prophets for that matter) help give me perspective any time I am going to talk about sharing our wealth with the local church.
But I am never going to stop talking about generosity in the context of community. I believe so much, not just in the local church, but that we are in line with the character of God the most when we are being generous.I think that’s true of our churches as well. Churches should be just as generous to the world as they hope their members are toward the church. Because I think one of the most formative thing a person, or community can do, is to give toward a common mission.
There have been times in my life when I see a Christian driving a Mercedes, or going to Hawaii, or eating at an expensive restaurant, and I’ve immediately thought poorly of them. Most of the time it’s because I cannot afford to do those things. But I would never say that. I would always say that I’m offended on behalf of the poor. There are millions of people dying because of lack of access to clean water, but go ahead, enjoy your $100 steak.
I have issues, I know.
In the book of Leviticus, God is adamant about this new group of slaves learning to party. So entire book is really a party planning manual. For every season there is a feast of celebration. But none of them are as big as the Passover. It is, after all, the time of year that they are celebrating the day that everything changed. When they said no to the Pharaoh. No more bricks for God’s people. God stood up to Egypt, and when God stands up there is no army in the world that can make him sit down. So every year, the Israelites would have a huge celebration. And if you were a Jew, and you didn’t go to the Passover party, you would be subject to the penalty of death.
Which can put a bit of a damper on the party spirit. Continue reading The Party Tithe