There’s an interesting story in 2 Kings 12. A new king comes to power in Israel. He decides to do things God’s way for a change. Obviously this is a good idea. But he also decrees that in addition to worshiping God properly, he wants to fix up the temple of God. Through the years of ignoring God, the temple had also been ignored and was in need of many repairs.
The priests at the temple were instructed to simply use the offerings that were coming in and begin the required work. However after some time, it became clear this wasn’t happening. For one thing, it seems as though the priests were holding a bit too much back for themselves. For another thing, the priest were not craftsmen and repair work was not part of their training. But a third thing that seems to be going on was that the offerings being used were just part of the regular routine of worship…the everyday ritual.
After some time, the new king and the lead priest had a conversation. Something had to be done. So they took a box, put a hole in the lid, and placed the box next to the alter. As people gave their offerings, the gifts were placed in the box. Each time the box was filled, the money was counted and given to trained craftsmen to go about the needed repairs. And the work got done!
Very little of this story directly relates to us today at HBIC. Our building has not been neglected. Our leaders are not holding the offerings back for themselves. However, we did use a box yesterday to collect the offering rather than passing the offering plate. And much like 2 Kings 12, this made people stop and think. In the Book of Kings, this slight change gained people’s attention and they started thinking a bit differently and giving more generously. Generosity has also not been an issue for many of us at HBIC. But thinking about our giving—that may be a conversation we haven’t had with ourselves in a while.
Yesterday, I heard from several of you about this trial run with the offering box. To say the least, it has many of you thinking. Some of us really like this experimental method. Some of us really do not like it. But it has all of us thinking. We’re thinking about what it means to be cheerful, generous givers. We’re thinking about how we give to God. We’re thinking about when we give to God. We’re thinking about giving and what it means to us.
Sometimes, we need to stop and simply think about why we do what we do. To remind ourselves that our routines and rhythms have meaning. That our traditions have purpose. Over the next few weeks as we worship God through giving in a slightly different manor, I pray that you would find yourself asking yourself some of these question. Why do I give? Do I give cheerfully as an act of worship? Do I give because I feel like it’s expected of me or because I am so filled with gratitude for God’s blessing.
Let’s spend some time this week thinking, asking, and listening… it might be interesting to hear what God has to say to us!
In Christ Alone,