Week 2 - Growing in: Generous Giving
Week 2 of the Generous Hearts, Generous Hands course.
Read chapter 2 of the book of Ruth.
Boaz is introduced to us as a man of some wealth, a landowner, a generous man. But lest we forget, generosity is not the privilege of the wealthy. Jesus saw a widow give two small coins (Lk 21:14). A gift from the heart. A prophetic challenge to injustice.
At the morning shift Boaz finds people gleaning. His reapers leave the edges and corners of his fields untouched so the poorest can gather for food. This is the generosity the law requires. Learning that one of the gleaners is Ruth Boaz’ generosity grows.
Boaz offers Ruth the protection of working in his fields (2:8) and the ease of drinking from the jars of his workers (2:9). At dinner time Ruth eats enough and to spare with Boaz’ and his workers (2:14,18). In the afternoon shift Ruth can glean right next to the reapers who must leave some stalks for Ruth (2:15-16).
Here’s three things to think about from the generosity of Boaz in this chapter.
- First, Boaz’ generosity to Ruth goes beyond what the law requires. He gives with the generosity that love requires. Not Boaz’ love for a woman he just met but Ruth’s love for Naomi. Generosity nurtures generosity. Long ago Amy Carmichael said, ‘we can give without loving but we cannot love without giving’.
- Second, see how Boaz grows in his generosity, step by step. Each act of generosity builds on the one before. Because generous giving is never static. God’s generosity always calls us to greater generosity. Our life circumstances change, for better or for worse. Generous discipleship means making choices. That’s why St Paul invites us to, ‘excel in the grace of giving’ (2 Cor 8:7). We only get good at something when we practice.
- Third, Boaz’ generosity puts food on Ruth’s plate but his giving is about more than money. Boaz prays for Ruth: ‘May the Lord repay you, may you be richly rewarded’ (Ruth 2:12). Giving generously to our church is more than the important and godly transaction of meeting needs. Generous giving is the transformative gift of blessing, of thanksgiving. We bless others, we are blessed ourselves and we give the blessing of praise to God. (2 Cor 9:12-15).
Lord, all that I have, a lot or a little, is a gift you have entrusted to me. In a world that holds money tight give me grace to open my hands and my heart. Grant me gratitude for your gifts and contentment with what is given. On my journey of generosity keep me going and growing in generous giving. Amen
Take a moment to thank God for his gifts to you. Then, think of one thing to do, one step to take that moves you further on your journey of generosity. Perhaps review what you give or how you give to the ministry of the church?
Week 1 - Growing in: Generous Relationships
Week 1 of the Generous Hearts, Generous Hands course.ResourceTotal current bookmarks 0
Generous Hearts, Generous Hands
Harvest is a special time in the life of many churches. The fruit and food and flowers in church remind us of the good things God has given to us. We often share a Harvest Supper together to celebrate God’s abundance. We come together in worship to say thank you. And we give, food and money, to extend a loving hand to those in our community and beyond who feel the sharp sting of hunger and loss.Course 4 PartsTotal current bookmarks 1