by Pastor Mark Jordan
“At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’ He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.'” (Matthew 18:1-5, NIV)
Recently, we spent some time talking about gratitude and generosity during worship at Church at The Well. As a pastor, I always wonder if the lessons I share sink in and help people change to be more like Jesus. Someone shared a story with me that helped me know at least one message did.
One of our smaller kids was seen drawing and coloring a picture that looked like a $100 bill. When asked why, the child said, “Because I want to give to God and the church.” Aaah, if it only worked that way, I would bring a case of paper and every green marker from Staples on Sunday. Still, there is quite a message to glean.
This child was inspired to be generous and give. I bet he/she tried to imagine one of the biggest gifts that could be given, and wanted to make it possible. This inspired the child’s family to make a gift to the church, and many were blessed.
This reminds me of my brother, when he was very young, giving my grandmother a penny and told her to go buy a new pair shoes. That made my grandmother’s day, and became a story frequently told during family gatherings. But get this, the concept of money isn’t as critical as the attitude of gratitude and spirit of generosity. Now, of course, this does not mean we can bring Monopoly money for our gifts to God and the church, but it does say we need to get in touch with that child-like faith that helps us imagine the biggest possible gift we could give to God and find a way to make it happen.
As we prepare for the glory of Christmas, I want you to think about your gratitude for who God is and all He does for you. Think about how you can reclaim that attitude of gratitude and spirit of generosity. It will inspire others. It will change lives, beginning with your own. I promise.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for all the reminders I see in life that inspire me to reclaim my attitude of gratitude and spirit of generosity. I pray for you to help me be generous in all ways and with all things. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.