September 15

Psalm 54:5-7

“With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O Lord, for it is good.” vs. 6

The psalmist here gives a glimpse of life under the temple’s sacrificial system. There were a variety of offerings that could be made–the suppliant chose the one that best fit the circumstances. In this case, because the psalmist had been delivered from enemies, he chose to make a free will offering, not because it was required but because he felt like it. That’s how it is sometimes when things go our way. While life can many times be a bummer, there are also times when it’s magnificent even beyond our expectations. Unexpected windfalls come our way, healings are complete and speedy, love blossoms, children are successful, the list goes on and on. In such instances it’s not unusual to feel a surge of generosity and make a spontaneous offering in a spirit of thanksgiving. What a difference from our usual mode of giving, the hardly noticed automatic withdrawal from a checking account or the obligated paying down of a tithing commitment! What motivates such giving? It’s hard to say, but it doesn’t happen with everyone. It seems to spring from the faithful hearts of people who know that what they have is a gift from God, and that blessings are meant to be shared. And once folks discover the joy of freewill giving, it gets really hard to stop–it really is more blessed to give than receive!

Thought for the Day: What event have I celebrated with generous giving?

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