Excel in the grace of giving during a pandemic and always

The Standard May 21, 2020

In our county, state and country over the past few months we have witnessed an outpouring of generosity too widespread to note adequately. People have donated non-perishable food items to be given out through initiatives like the Farmville Benevolent Ministries (9:00 AM on Tuesdays at the H.B. Sugg Community Center), Backpack Pals for at-risk Pitt County Schools students and Meals on Wheels for elderly homebound residents. Volunteers have organized and delivered food and homemade cards. Neighbors have gone grocery shopping for elderly folks. A small group implemented a terrific idea to create and place the Farmville Blessing Box outside of the town’s community center. People are asked to come take food as needed plus to help restock with non-perishables as able. Individuals have volunteered at places like the Shepherd’s Food Pantry (1:00 -4:00 on Fridays at 7227 Stantonsburg Rd. during this pandemic) which partners with the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina to give out produce, dairy products, meat and more. Bakeries, grocery stores, restaurants, other businesses and farmers have donated to Meals on Wheels, Pitt County Schools and food banks/pantries to help people get proper nutrition during the coronavirus pandemic.

Able customers have bought gift cards for future use in order to help local restaurants and small businesses pay their bills. People have continued to tip servers in an effort to help those dependent on that unsteady income. Some have decided to donate all or part of their COVID-19 stimulus checks to charitable organizations, small businesses or families. Men and women adept at sewing have made face masks to give away.

We all have something to give. With the current economic downturn it is certain that needs will continue. Many people will be in dire financial circumstances. Will we give sacrificially?

“Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.’” (Mark 12:41-44)

“And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. So, we urged Titus, just as he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you – see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” (2 Corinthians 8:1-7)



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