“O LORD our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building you a house for your holy name comes from your hand and is all your own. I know, my God, that you search the heart, and take pleasure in uprightness; in the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to you. O LORD, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our ancestors, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of your people, and direct their hearts toward you” (1 Chronicles 29:16-18 NRS).
Yesterday I was wearing a particularly snappy looking pair of sunglasses that I adore. They were gilded, metallic lace, and quite unusual. They caught the attention of a server at a restaurant I frequent upon occasion. She complimented them, and I removed them to let her try them on. They looked very fetching on her, others around started complimenting her wearing them, and I told her to keep them. She immediately took them off to hand them back, saying that she couldn’t possibly take them from me. But she wasn’t taking them. I was giving them to her, because, as much as I like those sunglasses, I had many others back home. She lit up when she wore them, and I lit up at her joy. I gave her the sunglasses, and left her with a tangible reminder that without reason or notice, we are blessed. Now the act of blessing might have ended right there, but I doubt that. I have faith that when we bless another in any way, whether in word or deed, that the Spirit carries that onward and the glory to God rises upward.
That server knows who I am and what I do. She knows that I am a Christian and a pastor. What I do is always framed by my faith, and what I gave to her, that moment of joy and surprise disguised as sunglasses, is just a token of what I have been given by God. I have an abundance of blessing in my life. I may not have a lot of things, or a bank account bursting with money, but I have more than enough. No matter how many times I wore those sunglasses, no matter how many times people stopped me to tell me they liked them, they never brought me more joy than when I gave them away. I could not think of a better way to say thanks be to God for all that I do have than to share it, and let others see how good God is. Are we no different than when we give of our meal to another? When we give our clothes, shoes, and coats to someone who goes without? When we visit those who would otherwise be alone, giving them our time and attention?
God blesses us out of God’s abundance, and those blessing become our abundance. Christ calls us to share this, to bless others as we have been blessed. Like the Scriptures record, I was able to offer something to another freely and joyously (1 Chronicles 29:17). Now it will not end all her problems, or solve a world-wide issue, but it conveyed that she is appreciated, even loved. For a short interlude, I was able to be a vessel of blessing, and her reaction fed my spirit more than she will ever know. Maybe next time I will be able to do more, I hope so. Can we ever do enough? Will it ever properly convey all that God has given for us and to us? No, but each act, each gift is a movement in the right direction. Carry me forward, Holy Spirit.
Thank you, Almighty God,
For all that I have, and all that you do.
I cannot say it enough,
But perhaps I can magnify my words with my actions.
I pray that the gifts I give to others,
Will in some small way, help them discover your love.
May I honor what I have been given,
By giving to others, and letting the gratitude grow.
It is all thanks to you.
May all this be for your honor and glory; this I pray.