In the reflection for day 32 Robert Schnase tells a story about two different families who were having their children baptized during the same service. After the service the grandfather from one of the families found himself holding the baby from the other family. As various members of the congregation spoke to him he found himself saying several times “Oh, this one isn’t mine; I’m just holding him for a minute”.
Later in the day the grandfather reflected on these words and something quite profound happened. He realised that in a sense this child was part of his family, since they were both part of the church and the family of God. He thought about all of the children that he had been a ‘spiritual’ grandfather to, over the years, and this led him to an important decision.
The next morning he went to see the pastor of the church and asked how he could change his will to include a gift to the church. He had made arrangements to take care of his own children in his will, but now wanted to provide for the children of his church family as well.
Like many people who demonstrate extravagant generosity, this grandfather had the vision and faith to invest in the future of the church, and to plant seeds for trees whose shade he will never sit under.
Today Schnase offers us this prayer and challenge:
Dear Lord, help us to put aside defensiveness and self-deception
to honestly look at our giving through your eyes.
Challenge: Think about the greatest gift you have ever received from being a follower of Christ and from life in your congregation. Then think about the greatest contribution you have ever made to the purposes of Christ and to your congregation. What do you want your legacy to be?