Moses issued a command that was proclaimed throughout the camp: “Every man and woman should stop making gift offerings for the sanctuary project.” So the people stopped bringing anything more because what they had already brought was more than enough to do all the work. – Exodus 36:6-7
What an interesting dilemma Moses had. The people were giving to building the “tabernacle,” an ornate, movable structure that signified God’s presence with them as they traveled through the wilderness. And—contrary to 99.9% of stewardship campaigns—they gave so much that Moses told them to stop giving.
I’ve done enough fund raising efforts to know that generosity is in direct proportion to gratitude and vision. Reading this Exodus story gives me cause to pause. Just what is my level of gratitude and vision?
Gratitude. How’d I wake up this morning? How did my heart know to take another beat? How did that chicken salad I had for dinner turn into muscle and bone? How did that scratch heal itself? How did the momma sparrow know how to build her nest and raise her young on our front porch? How did the leaves on the maple tree know when to bud? How did… (fill in the blank)
Vision. How does Jesus speak so simply yet powerfully: love God, love each other? How does he intrigue people to sacrifice even their own lives for a higher good? How does he forge people into a movement that empowers the marginalized, liberates the oppressed, overturns power and greed, confronts racism—all the while embodying humility and unconditional love?
I’m grateful for the incomprehensible mystery of the physical world, of bodies, birds, trees…
I’m overwhelmed by the vision cast by Jesus, of how the world can be—and will be—as he invites me into the unfolding of his kingdom.
My heart overflows.