Daily Devotions
 
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

Luke 21:1-2

As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins.

I believe that generosity is something that is taught.  One way that we learn generosity is when we are the recipients of the generosity of others.  Another way is through simply observing and being inspired by the generous ways other people share their resources.  Jesus pointed out the actions of the poor widow in the temple that day.  She wasn’t giving as an afterthought or in a way that didn’t impact her way of life.  Her gift came at a great sacrifice and seems to have inspired Jesus, thus he lifted her up as a model of generosity.

When I was in college and home for the summer a widow from my home church named Elsie made me the recipient of her generosity.  Now to be clear, Elsie had much more than two copper coins to live on.  She wasn’t wealthy by any means but had a comfortable life from what I could tell.  Since I was home that summer Elsie asked if she could pay me to cut her grass each week.  I took on the job more as a favor to her than thinking I would make much money at it.  

As I recall it took a couple of hours to cut her grass the first time.  When I was done she went to her purse and got out her check book.  She wrote me a check, folded it in half and handed it to me.  I took it and didn’t look at it until I got home.  When I saw the amount I thought she must have decided to pay me for the whole summer in one check.  Imagine my surprise when I received a check in the same amount the second time I cut the grass.  I told her that she was paying me way too much for what the job required.  She smiled at me and told me that she wanted to help me with my college expenses.  

The money that Elsie paid me that summer went well beyond what my work was worth.  Through her financial gifts to me, and in the regular cards and letters that she sent me, she helped sustain me both financially and spiritually as I made my way through college and then seminary.  She was one of many people in my life who modeled a life of joy and generosity, giving from the abundance God had provided.  Her example has stayed with me.

Who has modeled generosity for you in a meaningful way?  Did they inspire you to be generous? What is a story you could tell about your own generosity?

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