Sowing Through Generosity

Like many of you, I’ve been working mostly from home for the last couple of months.  Sometimes I will break up my day by taking walks with Rita throughout our neighborhood. We see many people walking their dog, strolling with their toddlers, shooting baskets, or doing yard work. Many are using this time to tackle that home project that was at one time very low on the ‘to do’ list but has risen to the top as other items have been checked off.  In some ways, it feels like a very long and extended Saturday.

Conversations usually include some speculation on when things will return to normal with the unsettling, yet real possibility, that the world has forever changed. Will people ever shake hands again? Will wearing masks in public become as normative here as it is in Asia? Will businesses encourage their employees to work from home on a regular basis?

While shopping at a grocery store, I saw an aisle that had shelves that were completely empty and certain items just can’t be found anymore.  Yet for most of us, we have plenty of food and the wisdom of having saved is one of the gracious ways that the Lord has prepared us to face this crisis. But there are others who have been hit awfully hard by this virus and for one reason or another, have neither savings or family or a church family to fall back on.

In the first century, food security was also an issue that Christians saw as an issue informed by the gospel. Widows who could not provide for themselves and had no family to help them, were helped by other Christians. During a time of famine, Paul collected funds from Christians in Asia Minor, to help fellow believers in Jerusalem.

The Jubilee REACH grocery drive, that started out with the goal of helping 60 needy families, has ballooned to 300 in just a few weeks. This is both sad and encouraging. Sad that so many families (and I’m sure there are many more out there) are in such a dire situation yet encouraging that Christians have stepped up to help these families in crisis.  Many in our church family are participating in this effort to express God’s love, hoping to reach their hearts through each bag of groceries. I feel like we are living out Paul’s words from 2 Corinthians 9:10-11

“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.”