Thursday, December 13, 2012
Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.
Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Read: Isaiah 12:2-6, Amos 6:1-8, and 2 Corinthians 8:1-15
St. Paul writes a classic “put your money where your mouth is” kind of paragraph in this, his fourth letter to the Corinthian church. He talks about how the other churches in the region of Macedonia (modern-day northern Greece) gave generously to his work, despite the fact that they didn’t have a lot of money. They gave beyond their own ability, but God blessed them so that they could continue giving. Paul tells the Corinthians that he’s sent St. Titus to them to help them improve in all areas, and especially this one.
God wants us to be giving people. We should give our time, talents, and money to support the work of the kingdom. That happens locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally. Wesley required the people in his societies to be givers, even if they had very little. Giving one’s way out of poverty seems counter-intuitive, but it’s actually the best way.
How good of a giver are you? Write your own prayer.