November 26, 2008

Generosity that Converts the Church

What does it mean to give, when everything we need is given to us?

Real generosity occurs when the gift leaves not a hand of joy, but a hand of heartache. The joyous giver is loved by God, but the one who gives in the midst of pain, tears, and heartache reflects God's love. The cross reveals this reality.

We give not to build nor restore. Our gifts in the machinations of the church do not reflect the Kingdom movement of love, rather the Kingdom movement of love makes possible the radical conversion of the machine by our generosity and love, a transformation of the microcosm, alternative people named church by the Gift(s) already received.

If the church is to be Christ this holiday season despite its budgets and buildings, it must allow Christ to convert it by accepting the gift. Salvation, life, justice, love. All gifts, all free.

It's time to trust and by trusting we make ourselves vulnerable to the capacities of generosity so that we give not to build nor restore, but to convert the church and find that God is not done with us no matter how done we are with ourselves as if a building, budget,program, or ministry means that we have arrived.

When we are generous we gather up within ourselves the ability to share our lives and the things we love with others, thus making ourselves richer then any amount of money. But when we are greedy, we close off ourselves to others for fear that what we love will be diminished and thus become poorer then any homeless person.

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