“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.” (2 Corinthians 8:9 NIV)
Another characteristic of the family is its willingness to share. The early church went so far as to have its members selling their property, each refusing to claim as his exclusive property what had belonged to him before. They had all things in common. When the one part suffered the whole suffered with it and when one part prospered then the whole prospered with it. There was a mutuality in the relationship in which all gave and all received. Some gave more conspicuously in spiritual things while others gave in material gifts. Hence the collection for the saints was a deeply spiritual exercise. In a happy family you don’t receive in proportion to your input. You receive in relation to your needs, the ones who make the least material contribution often being the ones who are most cared for -- young and aged.
How I pray that in our church we can learn to emulate a true family, emulate the divine generosity of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, although rich, for our sakes became poor that we through His poverty might become rich.
How I pray for the day when the… church would be marked by a membership that knows that all things come from God and all belongs to Him, that we have the privilege of being His stewards and that the very least we should give in thanksgiving for God’s abundant and limitless generosity is the tithe.
-- Desmond Tutu in The Rainbow People of God