November 5, 2018

1 Kings 17:6-12 …“As she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, ‘Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.’”

The people of Israel had a whole series of Elijah stories that they told and then preserved in writing. They wanted their descendants to know about this incredible prophet who dared to speak truth to power in the days of Ahab and Jezebel. In one of those stories, Elijah goes to a poor widow and asks for a drink of water and when she complies, he ups the ante, asking for something to eat as well. We gasp at his effrontery, and then realize he’s exposing a great truth about hospitality: the greatest generosity is always seen among those who have the least to share. Often, visitors to places where material prosperity is lacking, have reported the same thing. Their hosts will shower them with gifts of food and drink even to the point of depriving themselves. The contrast with attitudes in our affluent society is stunning. We, who live in the richest country on earth, do all we can to preserve our excess. When the poor come to our door we blame them for their poverty and turn them away without a second thought. How dare they think that we might be willing to share? How wonderful it is to see believers who have been infused by a spirit of generosity, who buck the trends of materialism! In them we glimpse God’s vision for a world in which sharing is the norm, and not the exception!

Thought for the Day: What restrictions do I place on my generosity?