Friday October 20, 2023 From Practicing Extravagant Generosity: Daily Readings on the Grace of Giving
One of My Own “This most generous God who gives seed to the farmer that becomes bread for your meals is more than extravagant with you. He gives you something you can then give away, which grows into full-formed lives, robust in God, wealthy in every way, so that you can be generous in every way . . .”
— 2 Corinthians 9:11, The MessageA long-time member and proud grandfather stood at the baptismal font with his family for the baptism of his baby granddaughter. Another infant from another family that was new to the congregation was baptized at the same service. Following the service, the two families intermingled at the front of the church as they took turns having their pictures taken. At one point, the mother from the new family needed to get some things out of her bag, and the grandfather from the other family offered to hold her baby. Other church members commented on the grandfather with the baby; and he found himself saying several times, “Oh, this one isn’t mine; I’m just holding him for a minute.”
Monday morning the grandfather visited the pastor at the church office and said, “I want to change my will to include the church, and I want to talk to you about how to do that.” The pastor was stunned and couldn’t help asking about what brought the grandfather to this decision. The older man’s eyes grew moist as he said, “Yesterday I realized something while I was holding that other baby. I kept telling people that he wasn’t my child, but then it dawned on me that he was part of my family, part of my church family. I’ve been a member of this church for more than forty years, and in God’s eyes I’m a grandfather to more than just my own. I’ve taken care of my own children with my will, but I realized I also need to provide for the children of the church. So I want to divide my estate to leave a part to the church as if the church were one of my children.”
Those who practice Extravagant Generosity have a God-given vision and faith to plant seeds for trees whose shade they will never see.