Service - Better Way of Giving - Extravagant and Self-less Giving

Sunday, November 5, 2017 - 10:30am

In November Rev Sadekie is focusing on stewardship and giving.

Today is a fitting day to get that off the ground as we recognize and celebrate those who have given their time and their life to fight for peace and freedom for this nation.

Today we will focus on the attitude and motivation that provokes giving.

Our veterans, each feels a sense of pride that they could give to their country even at the risk of their own lives; each selflessly thinking not of themselves but of the future.  They gave extravagantly giving up family, homeland and stability to be stationed somewhere where they are needed.  Today we celebrate their sacrifice, and try in small ways to express our gratitude.

Yesterday with 15 members of the congregation, Rev Sadekie went on a tour of the new Wellness facilities of the Downtown Mission.  Our tour was lead by Hope, Ron Dunn’s assistant. 

Hope expressed joy, hope, passion, and love as she guided us through the new facilities.  In another case, a veteran who was asked why she served responded, “you just do it, they need you, and you just sign up.”

Hidden deep inside of each of us, is the capacity to give.  This is the story of Zacchaeus, Luke tells us that Zacchaeus was the chief tax collector, and he was wealthy.  He was so excited to have a chance to encounter Jesus.  The encounter with Jesus profoundly transformed Zacchaeus.  He responds in the most extravagant way possible.  Leviticus laws say that if you steal from someone you must repay what is taken plus 20%.  Zacchaeus volunteers to return 4 times what he stole.  And then he tells Jesus he is going to give away half of everything he has to the poor.

What is extravagant and selfless giving?   It is giving that goes beyond expectation; giving that goes beyond what is considered affordable; and giving that goes beyond what is needed. 

What motivates that kind of giving?  People who give selflessly and extravagantly always feel the passion to go a step further.  They are driven by three things.

Gratitude – Gratitude for the ability to do all that you can, gratitude for all you have, gratitude for skills and talents, for good health.  People sponsor a room at the Downtown mission as an expression of gratitude for the life of a loved one, or in gratitude for what the Mission is doing.

Compassion – There are people among us who can not help but respond to need, people who can not help but give up their shirt or shoes to someone in need.  They have such compassion that when they see a need they respond to it, they support it, and they give to it, even if it costs them.  Compassion allows the negative aspects, the personal risk to become superficial, in the urgency to help and respond to the needs of the others.

Love – John Chapter 15 recounts Jesus’ words.  “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.   No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s purpose.”

What our veterans have done, is precisely this.  So we are challenged to take a page from those gave up their lives for our freedom.  As they have given, let us give, extravagantly and selflessly.  We  are not required to die for the sake of others, would we at least live to help people be free and to stay free.