Giving or Sharing?
Those who are generous are blessed, for they share their bread with the poor.
Giving to the poor is not a new concept to most of us. In fact, it is a foundational piece of the Christian faith. We are called to care for those who are experiencing need within our faith community and beyond. And in order to live out this piece of our faith, we often show our sense of care by giving: giving to the food pantry, to clothing drives, to mission’s work, to the church and to other places as well. But what about sharing?
For some, this may simply feel like a play on words, but there seems to be a fundamental difference in sharing and giving. Sharing implies two things that are not necessarily inherent in giving. First, we share from what we already have. If we donate a box of cereal, we share a box that we ourselves would find in our own pantry rather than simply give a box that we think others should be eating but we ourselves would not touch. We share when we give what we ourselves would love to have. Second, when we share we often give of our time as well. When we partake of Holy Communion, we share in that meal with each other, all the saints, and Christ who is the host. When a child shares a toy, a joint time of playing might ensue. We share when our giving includes genuine human interactions.
So in this season of giving, and throughout your faith journey, I would invite you to ponder the question: Am I giving or am I sharing? As you fill out your pledge cards, how are you sharing with the church as we work together to fulfill our mission in the world? In what ways are you giving from what you have and how will genuine human interaction accompany your financial gifts? As you live out your call to be a disciple in your daily lives, how are you sharing with those around you?
Prayer: Bread of Life, help us to nourish this church and this world– not simply by giving but by sharing. Amen.