Jesus once observed a widow placing a gift of two small coins in the offering at the temple. Knowing the heart of the woman who gave the gift and knowing the heart with which she gave – Jesus called the attention of all around to see her, that they too may recognize her faithfulness, and learn from it.
So too have I been blessed recently to see such a gift given. You see, there is a woman in our congregation who much like that widow is faithful in her giving. With her permission, I am sharing her story. This lovely lady gives what she can afford from her fixed income. At one time this was a gift totaling $50.00 a month. But a couple years ago, heeding the prompting of the Holy Spirit, she sought to grow her gift. Desiring to give more over to the care of her Lord, she increased her giving by 1 cent. It was for her both a fearful and faithful thing, to push past that $50.00 mark when finances feel so very tight.
After a full year of giving a penny beyond her tithe every month, this courageous woman of generosity grew her gift again. This time her increase wasn’t just monthly, but it was now a weekly donation of and additional $2.00.
And then, with the start of 2017, as she continues to find joy in trusting God with her resources, she has increased her gift once again to a full $3.00 each week. So within this multiple year journey our sister in Christ has seen her gift grow from $50.00 each month to $62.01, and on months with five Sundays to $65.01.
My friends, having become aware of this faithful woman’s faithful giving, and being so encouraged by it, I wanted to follow Jesus’ example and lift her up as an encouragement to us all.
And, what is more, her story and example gets even better. You see, a few months ago when the church was excited for Family Camp and we were looking ahead to our time in the cabins together, this wonderful woman didn’t feel healthy enough to attend. But can you guess what she did?
She mailed in her check of three dollars to the church so that she wouldn’t miss her week of offering back to God what she believes He has asked of her.
To be clear, this gracious lady does not give because she thinks the church will close down without her faithful stewardship of His resources. She doesn’t give because she is worried that God’s mission won’t be continued forward without her offering. Rather, Elizabeth Burritt gives because she loves her God and it is her joy to put her treasure where her heart is already.
My hope is that you are as blessed and encouraged by Elizabeth’s story as I have been. And for those of us looking ahead to summer vacations and trips away – may her commitment of faithfulness be a challenge as well. The example has been set. And while the bar has just been set at $3.01. I’m not sure I’ll ever see such a gift surpassed.
Thank you Elizabeth for the permission to share your story.
Blessings all, Pastor Tim
“While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. 2 Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins.
3 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. 4 For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” ~Luke 21:1-4