Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Prayers and Gifts

I'm not sure if it is true for others, but I know that I have a tendency to separate the spiritual from the non-spiritual even in church related things. Fasting and Praying are spiritual. Reading the Bible is spiritual. Telling the truth is the right thing to do, but it is not really spiritual. Tithing is the right thing to do, but it is physical, not spiritual, right?

Wrong. Cornelius hears from an angel of God who groups these things, gifts to the poor and prayer together as a "memorial offering before God."

Giving isn't just the right thing to do - it is a way to worship God. That's what offering means, worship. In our weekly church-life way of doing things "offering" has become the equivalent of "passing the plate" or "collecting the money." But that isn't what offering is at all.

Giving to God and to the needy must be just as spiritual as prayer, as Bible-reading, as baptism, as speaking in tongues. Church leaders need to present giving as what it is - a way to get closer to God, to build that relationship more and more. Giving to God and giving to the poor is loving God and loving others. It will change your life.

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