Lent 2017 Meditation 5
The Gift of Giving
by Revd Paul Le Sueur
The Gift of Money
This week we start with the task.
- Make a list of all the parables of Jesus you can think of that mention money.
- Make a list of incidents you can think of in the Gospels that mention money.
You may well have been surprised how often money is mentioned in the Gospels, but money in one form or another (coins, cheques, bank drafts, credit cards, etc.) is essential to every civilised society. It is fundamentally a means of exchange of goods or services. Originally there was barter; then precious metal was used. Bits of metal (gold, silver or iron) were weighed each time to determine value. Merchants in Egypt recognised metal lumps they had seen before so they hammered a nail imprint in them to avoid the need to weigh them again. Thus coins were invented, and commerce flourished.
Money is therefore a gift to enhance community life, but like all gifts it can be both used for the common good and abused. We should remember that the text in the Bible is not, ‘Money is the root of all evil,’ but, ‘The love of money is the root of all evil.’
Reflect on how small does a £10 note look in a supermarket and how big does it look when there is a charity appeal.
Questions to consider
- An experiment showed that finding a £10 note makes people happy, but not half so happy as losing a £10 note makes them sad, Consider why this may be so.
- Parents often say, ‘my son’ or ‘my daughter’, although they know that it is a case of having responsibility for them rather than owning them. Should we not regard ‘our’ money in the same light? Someone said, ‘The last part of a Christian to be converted is their pocket.’ Do you agree? Are we stewards or owners?
- Your group has won or has been awarded £10,000. How will you distribute it?
- Should we as Christians be concerned about the vast differences in salaries we hear about in big business and in sport? If so, is there anything we can do about it?
- How do you feel when singing the verse in the hymn that says, ‘Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold’?
All things come from you, O Lord, and of your own do we give you.
Give us grateful hearts for all your gifts
and increase in us a heart of greater compassion for those in need.
Read through Matthew 26: 6–15. Close you eyes and imagine you are present as these proceed. Note how you feel and anything you would have liked to say.
This meditation is available to download as a PDF here: Lent 2017 Meditation 5.