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Sunday, October 26, 2014

For the life that you have given,
for the love in Christ made known,
with these fruits of time and labor,
with these gifts that are your own:
here we offer, Lord, our praises;
heart and mind and strength we bring;
give us grace to love and serve you,
living what we pray and sing.

Carl P. Daw Jr.’s “For the Life That You Have Given”
(tune: Pleading Savior)
from Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal
(Text copyright © 1990 Hope Publishing Company. License A-712340.)

At Fourth Church we sing this song every week in the morning church services to celebrate the gifts we have shared with the church. But how often do I think about the words I am singing? I have to admit, now that I have this song memorized, I often don’t think twice about what I am saying.

If only I were the same about my tithing. Instead, my tithing is a constant calculation. Can I really afford to give this money? Can other things besides monetary donations count as tithing? And the excuses pile up as well.

This morning as I walked into work I passed so many people whose circumstances are less fortunate than my own. I think, “How lucky I am that I have a job and an income.” And while I have mixed feelings about sharing my money with the people on the street, I know the wonderful things that God can do with my money to help those people when God pulls my small tithe together with my greater church community.

So next time I join in song, may I think about the blessings that God has shared with me and then see as praise the sharing of the fruits of my labor with others.

Lord, give me the grace to love and serve you. Thank you for the wonderful blessing you have bestowed upon me. I ask that you put my time, talents, and tithe to work serving your greater purpose. For Lord, we as a community can achieve far greater than any one individual alone. Amen.

Written by Katie Patterson, Junior High Youth and Mission Coordinator

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