On Stewardship and the Orthodox Life - Part 92: It’s Up to U
“You received without paying, give without pay.” (Matthew 10:8 RSV)
The only way that Christ has left to us to support the cause of the Church has been the generosity of His followers. We are required to give to God according to the proportion that we have been blessed.
When we look at the Cross and see our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ having made Himself poor that we might become rich, it should be easy to see that we are not to lay up for ourselves treasures on earth, but in heaven. Such a bank as heaven is for us to hold our treasures, it will never stop return payments. God sent His Son to this earth for our salvation and restoration, what can we possibly give back to Him? We are to give our all. All we have is required of us: our gifts and offerings, our lives and families, our time and our varied talents: “You received without paying, give without pay.”
In fact, how can one ever consider reducing the amount of his or her offerings and gifts? Every faithful steward will want to always be increasing those gifts and offerings! We are dependent upon God for every good thing we enjoy. Not one of us who is receiving the great gifts of God should ever let God be ashamed of our lack of responsive giving back.
Withholding from God, who owns all that we have anyway, is simple ingratitude. Those who stand before the open tomb of the Risen Christ; those who sing of Christ “trampling down death by death”; those who say to each other “Christ is Risen!” with joy and fervor: those ought never question how much he or she returns to Christ in gifts and offerings. Rather those who have received salvation through the Resurrection of Christ will feel that even the richest offering is all too meager. Even the greatest offering that someone gives can never be compared to the great Gift God has given to humankind in the Resurrection of the Only-begotten Son!
The Holy Apostle Paul: “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15:20-22 RSV). With those words ringing in our ears, from the poorest to the richest, each of us made alive in Christ will find a way to say “Thank you” with all generosity.
This weekly series of brief thoughts on stewardship and Orthodox life is brought to you by your Diocesan Stewardship Commission.
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