Wednesday 29th March 2017
What does it look like to be truly generous in God’s Family?
Generosity has been evident since the dawn of creation, but something significant happened 2000 years ago when God came and lived among us. Jesus walked the land from, from village to city, from home to well, walking and working in the unforced rhythms of grace. He was generous with his gifts of healing, generous with his forgiveness of sinners, generous in his invitation to others to follow him. And he knew how to receive too: praise, adoration, clothing and shelter. Jesus lived both as a receiver, from the moment of his birth, and as a giver, until he performed his last miracle – generous forgiveness for all from a cross. Jesus’ life – and death – became the most perfect articulation of generosity in action. He lived and breathed it.
The rich man in Mathew’s Gospel asks the question, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” (Matthew 19 v 16). Jesus tells him to keep the commandments and love his neighbor, but the man is still confused. So Jesus spells it out to him; sell his possessions, embrace generosity and say “Yes” to Jesus’ offer of a relationship with him. The man declines.
Here is the paradox of generosity. Despite its magnificent power and incredible potential, we can say no to it. It is possible to go through life with our backs turned to generosity. We can choose to allow it to enter our lives by the smallest degree, or we can surrender to it completely. Generosity is not something that happens to us, and it is not something that will overrule us. Our part in the story of generosity only begins when we say “Yes”.