Read Deuteronomy 26:1-11

from David Chafin, Deputy Regional Minister

Sometimes, when there’s “too much month at the end of the money,” it’s hard to see how to make ends meet. So the picture described of God’s people bringing the first and the best of their produce to God as an offering seems rather outrageous. We live in a land where we often are reminded to take care of yourselves first.

The story is told of an old Sufi prophet, Nasrudin, who was asked by his neighbor to borrow his clothesline. Nasrudin replied, “Sorry, I cannot lend you my clothesline, because I am drying flour on it.” The neighbor yelled, “I didn’t know you could dry flour on a clothesline.” Nasruden explained, “It is amazing how many things can be done with a clothesline when you don’t want to lend it out.”

The same is true when it comes to serving our own interests instead of serving God. There is no limit to our excuses. But if our desire is strong enough, and we truly give credence to the affirmation that we claim, that from “the ground that you, O Lord, have given…” we can always find the means to serve God first.

Help us, Lord, to see in your generosity

the weakness of our excuses of scarcity,

and the simplicity of living generously in you.