I thought the October 27, 2019 reflection in "Forward Day by Day" was very good as concerns
our November 17 In Gathering, Pledge Sunday. The author is Sandra T. Montes. She is a consultant to
the Episcopal Church Foundation, active member of several acting groups and committees across the Episcopal Church, and a church musician in high demand. She makes her home in Houston.
The scripture reading is from the Apocryphal Book of Ecclesiasticus,
or the Wisdom of Jesus, Son of Sirach, in the Bible.
Blessings, hugs, and lots of love,
Sirach 35: 12-13. Give to the Most High as he has given to you, and as generously as you can afford.
For the Lord is the one who repays, and he will repay you sevenfold.
I do a lot of talking and teaching about stewardship, which I learned through my parents' examples and teachings.
I remember a priest who told me he was ashamed because he could not tithe.
He had struggled his whole life to financially support his two children and was nearing retirement age,
yet had never had a full-time income with the church. He had to have two other jobs to supplement his salary
- and still it was not enough. "How can I ask my parish to tithe when I can't?"
This man needed to hear that God isn't disappointed or ashamed of him.
Remember the widow's mite? Sometimes 1 percent is all we can afford,
even with 100 percent gratefulness and generosity in our hearts. God is the one who repays sevenfold.
I have seen God's incredible, nonjudgemental generosity all my life.
It has been more than sevenfold of what I have ever given.
Thanks be to God.