I saw of stack of cash, and it brought tears to my eyes. Let me explain. Yesterday I taught on Romans 12:1-a “I urge you therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices” I talked about the fact that, in essence the Bible is telling us, “God’s offered nothing less than all of Himself to us. He asks us to offer nothing less than all of ourselves to Him.” However, I’m not writing this post in order to go on and one about a theological point. I’m writing this post to tell you about the beautiful thing that happened next.
I proposed a little experiment for our church body. As a way of exploring the reality of the challenge to share our lives with God, along with the joy of actually doing so, I asked everyone to get out their wallets. I went on to say that our little experiment wasn’t about the money but about getting very practical in leaning into the process of sharing all of ourselves back with the God who has shared all of Himself with us. So I simply said, “I’m going to ask all of you to empty your wallets into that clear box in the back. None of the money will go to this church but to another church and more acts of love in our city. If my request makes you mad – keep your money and talk with God about why such a request makes you mad. If you need to keep some of it to keep a promise later today, then keep what you need and give the rest. Let’s make this an experiment in where our hearts are at with God.”
I walked out of that service and that box was loaded with cash! It was beautiful – not because of the cash – but because of what it said about the people in the church where I serve. I had people coming up to me laughing (yes laughing!), saying, “Andy I never have cash in my wallet, except for today. But it was fun to give it away.” Others said, “I wanted to get by on a technicality because I carry my cash in a clip and you said empty your wallet, but it was fun to give it all away anyway.” Still another said with a big smile, “That’s the last time I will stop at an ATM before I go to worship!” To me that stack of cash is a beautiful offering of love back to God from a group of people who are very human, but very much love the God who has loved them so much.
Then I woke up to this beautiful text from one who had laughed with me yesterday morning: As the church we do not sit idle . . . it appears that we are continually challenged to surrender what isn’t ours to begin with . . . our time, talents, fears, insecurities, money, security, and the list could go on and on . . . this church community is not one of spectators, we are being pushed, prodded, and asked to RUN in the race . . . the Kingdom race . . . This has been the most spectacular group of people, and I am so thankful for the opportunity to worship God with them. And from this one person’s observation, we all are the most ordinary of people – nothing special – but soon extremely special!