7Now as you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you — so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.
8I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others.9For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.10And in this matter I am giving my advice: it is appropriate for you who began last year not only to do something but even to desire to do something — 11now finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be matched by completing it according to your means.12For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has — not according to what one does not have.13I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between14your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance.15As it is written, “The one who had much did not have too much, and the one who had little did not have too little.”
- Light a candle to remember Christ’s presence with you.
- Sit five to fifteen minutes in silent meditation paying close attention to the deep breath.
- As you follow your breath, let your focus become that which you are giving in the name of the Lord.
- How does this giving bless you?
- How does this giving make you rich?
- What did you give up to be able to give more?
- What might you give more abundantly so that others might be blessed?
- What does your neighbor give in the name of the Lord?
- How does this giving bless your neighbor?
- How does this giving make your neighbor rich?
- What did your neighbor give up in order to receive more blessing?
- What might your neighbor give more abundantly so that others might be blessed?
- Who has too much?
- Who has too little?
- What is God’s message for you?
- Is there a call to action?
- Give thanks to God for this time in prayer and for any new insights you have received.
- Share as you feel led in the reply box below.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, July 1, 2012, the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year B
2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27
2 Corinthians 8:7-15
If you use these prayers in other groups, please give credit to author. Permission to use in not-for-profit settings The Rev. Lil Smith, M.Div., DASD.