Bible Readings and Devotion for September 27, 2020
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Devotion for September 27, 2020
By Pastor David Tinker
A regular part of our worship services in our Lutheran tradition is the giving of offerings. These are most often given as monetary gifts of cash and checks. The offering is gathered and presented most typically in the later half of the service, generally after the intercessory prayer and before Holy Communion.
There is an important reason for why we give our offerings during worship. It is about giving thanks to God. An important verse which points to this is from 2 Corinthians 9:15, “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” Paul notes this in the context of making generous offerings. There are two core themes to our worship services every week. These are repentance and thanksgiving. Repentance is receiving the mercy of God, confession of sin to God and then getting back track with following his ways. Thanksgiving is our holy response to all which God has done for us in Jesus. There are three common expressions of thanksgiving in worship. These are: songs and words of praise, our offerings, and the Holy Communion. Together these help us refocus our lives and priorities on what God has first done for us. These are ways to give of ourselves fully in praise and thanksgiving to the Lord.
Some have suggested in the church at large that we should just send a bill yearly, quarterly, or monthly, etc. This bill would be some standard amount needed to cover the expected expenses of the church. Technically, this would work. On the other hand, it would very much miss the core value of how and why we give the offerings – this is to openly give thanks to God as the people gathered in worship.
So, when you give your offerings at worship, remember to dedicate these with a quiet prayer of thanksgiving. Since many are sending in their offerings or using the online giving, I encourage you to find a way to prayerfully approach this task with thanksgiving to God.
Merciful Father, we offer with joy and thanksgiving what you have first given us—ourselves, our time, and our possessions, signs of your gracious love. Receive them for the sake of him who offered himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen