To Give or To Receive?

Shannon Gammon Articles, Carla Aday

Five years ago, I spent a long day at the hospital while my husband had surgery. Once Dave was settled in a private room and began slowly recovering from surgery, a church member showed up with Winstead’s burger and tots for my dinner. It was like bread from heaven. The next day I came home from the hospital and another church friend brought soup and salad and it was like holy manna in the wilderness. According to Jesus, it is “more blessed to give than to receive” but this sure felt like a blessing to me to receive. Which is it? More blessed to give or to receive?

As I walk down the halls of the church, I notice so many people working hard at giving. The bell choir and choir members are rehearsing for Sunday. The Building Committee, Finance Committee and Endowment Trustees are meeting to plan budgets and projects. The Knitters and Sewers are making bandages for the cancer ward and hats for the homeless and the Green Team is planting and pruning on the front lawn. The mission team is preparing dinner for hundreds of hungry neighbors and the back snacks are being prepared for elementary-aged children at Hartman. So much hard work, time and energy poured into “acts of generosity”. The church relies on the generous financial gifts of each member but alone that is not enough. We cannot love the way God calls us to love without your active service.

In the book of Acts, we are told how Paul preached saying that we must “support the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, for he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (20:35) And then it goes on to say that when Paul finished speaking there was much weeping among them all and they embraced Paul and kissed him as they said goodbye to him at the ship before he sailed away. It’s an emotionally gripping scene. It’s not a spreadsheet where giving and receiving is tallied. It’s about generous love and shared friendship and mutual support. So maybe what Jesus was pointing to is the very thing I see in you here at Country Club Christian. We find joy in these “acts of generosity” The scriptures name the truth that we need to give ourselves away in love. It’s our blessing to participate in God’s love for this world.

Grace and Peace,