Welcome, empty basket! You’ve been sent to Goodwill Industries to find a home elsewhere. The Purging Lutheran doesn’t remember what My Sweet Rib used you for. You might have been a napkin holder on our dinner table. You might have held Easter eggs the few times MSR, The Lad, Our Marta and I ever made them. It is possible you might have displayed Christmas cards sent by family members, friends, our HVAC repair company and the local chiropractor office. Who will buy you? I hope a church buys you to be used as a collection plate. I can see you full of checks, dollars bill, coinage, cute notes and pictures from kids, and even a form filled out by a recent Heavenly victory interested in donating time, talent and love to anyone on the same road to disaster they were just driving.
Will it be a Malachi 3:8-12 church?
Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.
“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“In tithes and offerings. You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.
… or a 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 church?
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”
He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. By their approval of this service, they will glorify God because of your submission that comes from your confession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others, while they long for you and pray for you, because of the surpassing grace of God upon you. Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!
(hint: they are really both the same, but Malachi sounds more like Law and 2 Corinthians more like Gospel)
Where ever you go, mechanically woven basket, serve well!
Mark 12:41-44: Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
Calling His disciples to Him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”