I passed by a church recently. They were having a public fund raiser for an infant in need of medical care. This was not, judging from the size and architecture of the sanctuary and the selection of cars in the parking lot, a financially poor church.
These are my thoughts that revolve around this scene. First, with the best of intentions, why does the church offer trinkets, services (car washes, for example), tickets for chances at winning things, or baked goods in order prompt others to give, to raise money for someone in need? Is this not the antithesis of giving as taught in the New Testament canon? Are we, as the body of Christ, so petty that we must be given to, even on a symbolic level, before we give?
How are we to live and give in relationship to our risen Savior? Perhaps if one or two or a few people in that church quietly and anonymously cashed in some of their stock portfolio, the medical needs of the child’s family would be met. Perhaps instead of buying a $30,000 dollar bass boat, the money could be spent to help a family that finds themselves unemployed. Perhaps the money for that vacation fund for the family getaway to Cancun could be sent to a team of missionaries to aid Sierra Leone in building medical facilities, churches and schools. My own words are not merely a hollow, self-righteous polemic against others; they absolutely condemn me in my own self-absorption.
Acts 2:44-47 All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.