Second Week of Advent, Thursday, December 9, 2021
2 Corinthians 8:1-15
And now, [dear siblings], we want you to know about the grace God gave the churches in Macedonia. They have been tested by great troubles, and they are very poor. But they gave much because of their great joy. I can tell you that they gave as much as they were able and even more than they could afford. No one told them to do it. But they begged and pleaded with us to let them share in this service for God’s people. And they gave in a way we did not expect: They first gave themselves to the Lord and to us. This is what God wants. So we asked Titus to help you finish this special work of grace since he is the one who started it. You are rich in everything—in faith, in speaking, in knowledge, in truly wanting to help, and in the love you learned from us. In the same way, be strong also in the grace of giving.
I am not commanding you to give. But I want to see if your love is true by comparing you with others that really want to help. You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. You know that Christ was rich, but for you he became poor so that by his becoming poor you might become rich.
This is what I think you should do: Last year you were the first to want to give, and you were the first who gave. So now finish the work you started. Then your “doing” will be equal to your “wanting to do.” Give from what you have. If you want to give, your gift will be accepted. It will be judged by what you have, not by what you do not have. We do not want you to have troubles while other people are at ease, but we want everything to be equal. At this time you have plenty. What you have can help others who are in need. Then later, when they have plenty, they can help you when you are in need, and all will be equal. As it is written in the Scriptures, “The person who gathered more did not have too much, nor did the person who gathered less have too little.”
(New Century Version (NCV))
Loving Divine Family,
You are within and among us as we journey together. We seek all that we need for our journey as we go and gather what we can to ensure we have enough. We enter your holy prayer space seeking your peace and wisdom, and you prompt us to consider our ways and your ways. You remind us to gather honourably as we go and to ensure we are in community with you, each other, and creation.
Thank you, loving Yahweh, for this sacred time with you this day. Thank you for the gift of faith and the invitation to live out of that faith by giving out of our abundance. May we experience joy as we give and receive your love today.
I remember your ways of Honourable Harvest today, Great Mystery, and thank you for…
As we journey to your holy mountain, we seek to honour and respect you, others, and creation. May we be kind in our giving and receiving and have the faith to complete the good work begun in your presence.
With joy we praise you!
Cherie and Donovan Mutschler
Other Lectionary Readings for Today: