Archive for January, 2012
When we had our first baby, Megan, I was blown away by the generosity of people in our street. Next door gave us a mountain of baby clothes, even though they’ve got a full house, with 13 grandchildren in and out. Our new neighbours on the other side, who we’d spoken to a handful of times, seemed to have bought something new for the baby every time we saw them. And it’s not just a baby thing. I’ve been put to shame as I’ve received far more practical help and love from those in my street than I’ve given.
We’ve been reading through Exodus as a family recently, and have reached the practical laws in chapter 21 onwards. It seems there were to be no boundaries for the Israelites in their concern and compassion for others. Foreigners were not excluded (22:21). Personal grievances were not to prevent aid (23:4-5). As much as I would love to just obscure the moral teaching of the Old Testament law under a blanket of redemptive-historical-fulfilment mumbo-jumbo, the truth is those laws reflect the heart of our generous God. Jesus was clothing himself with that law as he went about ministering grace to those in need, and summarising it’s teaching in the always-challenging parable of the Good Samaritan.
So why am I such a stinge-meister? Why am I so slow to seek out need around me? Why is generosity an effort rather than a knee-jerk reaction? (continue reading…)