by guest blogger Michael Albanese
My church’s pledge form had come in the mail and sat on my hall table for about a week.
Each day as I came and went to work I would see the envelope and think about all of the
bills I had to pay and the conflict I felt about the spirit of giving that I should show towards
the needs of my church
One morning I read the story of the widow's offering (Mark 12:41) about how a poor widow
gave generously out of her poverty, giving all that she had to live on, in faith that God
would sustain her. Christ recognized this gift as more precious than the offerings of the rich,
who gave out of their abundance.
I realized that more than material poverty, we all come to Christ in spiritual poverty, for as
human beings we have nothing to offer God in return for His gifts. We can only offer
ourselves as servants to the Will of God, giving our whole heart to Him. If we offer all that
we have, giving without reservation out of our heart’s poverty, God will receive us and
welcome us into a life with Him. While supporting my church is an important part of my
Christian calling, God does not desire offerings made out of obligation or ritual, but an
offering made of our heart’s love, given willingly so that we may be called His people.
Jesus’ teaching of “Blessed are the poor, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” took on an
entirely new meaning for me once I understood this. Acknowledging my spiritual poverty
before God has made me deeply grateful for all that I have, and has opened my heart to
supporting the work of my church and others in need.