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Enough good to go around

From the September 2023 issue of The Christian Science Journal

During the pandemic, many churches temporarily closed. Yet, many members were inspired through prayer to continue supporting their churches financially even during the shutdowns, showing the importance of such grateful offerings. These donations are gifts of thanks and affection for all that the church provides to its congregation and the community. Contributions in support of church—both financial and prayerful—are as ancient as Bible times.

The prophet Malachi said: “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:10). The Israelites more than two millennia ago offered no insignificant portion of their income to God, which supported the temple and its clergy, as well as providing benevolence to the needy. This practice had fallen away for many, but in the passage above, God is telling the Israelites that if they would resume the activity according to His command, He would bestow abundant good upon them—much more than they had given. It was important for them to understand that it was not a burden but a blessing.

Although tithing is not mentioned as frequently in the New Testament of the Bible, the idea of regularly giving a portion of one’s income to benevolent organizations, including church, has grown out of biblical ideas like, “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (II Corinthians 9:7), and, “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again” (Luke 6:38).

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