22nd FEBRUARY

Luke 6: 37 - 42

“Give, and it will be given to you.  A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap”

Are you one of those people who when cooking or baking religiously stick to the recipe or do your own thing:  a bit of this and a bit of that?  There are some recipes you can get away with by using the latter approach of tasting and seeing if it is right or not.  However, there are others where that right combination of ingredients placed into the bowl in the right order makes all the difference to the finished product.

Here in this passage we have a recipe for life.  There is the possibility of quite different ingredients - unnecessarily judging others and condemning them from a standpoint of prejudice which in turn comes from fear or even from mistrust and misunderstanding.  There is the danger of dehumanising and failing to see God in others which affects the flavour of life which, in turn, leaves a bad taste.  We are all made in the image of God who breathes life and new life into us. 

In what seems to be a series of disconnected phrases Jesus is showing us contrasting ways of living.  We can live lives that can either offer life and encouragement to another or do the complete opposite draining the life from others as we pull them down.  The danger, of course, is the building up of resentment in their lives as well as our own.  “A good measure” is what Jesus suggests that we give but a good measure of what?  In this immediate context the good measure must be in contrast to what Jesus has already outline.  A good measure of perhaps understanding instead of judgement, encouragement instead of condemnation and mercy instead of holding onto grudges.   Take these, place them in a bushel (a bowl) and give them a good shake then we have the beginnings of what Jesus is talking about here - giving in a way that reflects the giving of God in Christ himself for we can know these and so much more in our relationship with him.  And these are the kind of gifts that are effervescent in that when they are stirred up in us naturally overflow in an enthusiastic faith that pours out into the lives of others.

As individuals, communities and nations we have been stirred up in recent times by the pandemic but let’s not forget God stirring us up through his Spirit producing a greater giving to him and to each other.
 

  • How have you been stirred up by recent difficulties and challenges?  How has God stirred you up and motivated you?

Running over, running over, my cup is full and running over

because in you Lord God I find a bountiful giver

offering life and breath and so many opportunities,

offering your Son Jesus Christ.

May our thanks be reflected in our giving.  

AMEN.