He is risen! Risen indeed.
Last night at Operation Nightwatch worship we did the usual. Prayer, praise, the Word, the body and blood of Christ. And the offering. Ways to give back to God and to each other.
Three weeks ago we had our biggest offering ever--by far. But that included a $100 check from our tax accountant and a $100 bill from one of our volunteers. Last night there were none of those outside contributions. It all came from the worshipers themselves: a pair of twenties. And more pennies than I've ever seen.
If you have seven cents in your pocket, seven cents to your name, and you put it all in the offering basket, how much of a tithe is that? To call it a tithe would be an insult of the first order. It's giving everything one has, trusting entirely of God's providence and the ability of God to penetrate other human hearts.
That happened last night. It happened because it was Easter. People wanted to give and they had a chance. It taught me yet another new truth. We accept it as true that it is more blessed to give than to receive.
But there is something even more blessed: making a way for someone else to give.
To those givers, I dedicate this poem from 1986:
The Giving Fire
Sometimes locked within us
hidden from our vision
we are our best kept secret.
Dream afraid to be, the Spirit we fail to see
lie hidden in the puzzle that we are.
It is good that we are not alone once we begin
Once we dare to see ourselves just as we are
Afraid and needing reassurance,
guidance through the world of learning and uncertainty.
And it is good that we are alone when we begin to listen
to hear the voice inside us
tell us who we are.
As we accept, begin to love, what God and we have made.
Alone. And not alone,
How blest we are to know the human touch
The giving fire
And the breath of God in us
And in each other.