New Apostolic Church USA

The Gift of Giving

District Apostle Kolb's introduction letter from the Autumn 2018 Vision Newsletter

Dear brothers and sisters,

Recently I came across a word in 2 Corinthians 8:15:

He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack.

At first, this may seem like a paradox or riddle, and yet it has a special meaning with regards to giving and thanksgiving. It was written by Paul to the congregation at Corinth to inspire them to join the other congregations of Macedonia to give to their poorer brethren in other areas. You may recall hearing about this in a September divine service. These early brothers and sisters, even though persecuted and indigent, supported each other, inspired by the true love of Christ. We read in verse 5 – but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God. Because of their circumstances, we can see that their giving followed the model of the widow that Jesus commented on in the temple – but she out of her poverty put in all that she had… (Mark 12:44).

Let’s go back to the riddle. This was a verse Paul actually quoted from Exodus 16:18 that described the gathering and distribution of manna. We can imagine the families and how those who were abled gathered more, and those who were older, disabled, or very young gathered less. However, when the gathering was finished, they all redistributed their “harvest” so that he who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack. This was necessary because Moses said to gather only what they needed for the day and leave nothing left over for the next day. In other words – God would again provide for them.

Here we can see some wonderful aspects of God’s ways. He gave the manna, sufficient for each day, as much as was needed for each person. However, He expected His people to trust Him to provide for them again the next day. He also expected His people to distribute this gift in a way that all could be helped and sated.

The Apostle Paul taught this realization of God’s ways to the first Christians. Thus, they realized that even if they had little, this little was a gift from their God, and, in thankfulness for it, they gave to others. Jesus also showed this when He gave thanks for the few loaves and fishes before feeding the five thousand. He gave thanks for the “little” and then gave it out.

May these teachings of God’s ways also live today in His children by:

  • Recognizing all the gifts we have been given – time, resources, freedom, and so many others.
  • Expressing our thankfulness to our loving Father, the Giver of good things, in our offerings and sacrifices.
  • Giving and sharing what we have been given, realizing our dependence on our benevolent Father, and trusting in His divine providence for the future.

Wishing you a meditative and peaceful holiday season. I remain yours.

With love,

LR Kolb

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