One of the more mundane yet very important parts of a church service that, for obvious reasons, I don’t usually get to have a hand in is passing around the offering plate. But one of the beautiful things about a small town church is occasionally something unexpected happens and someone just needs to step in and help. This week that someone ended up being me, and when I did I was in position to witness one of the cutest and most poignant lessons I’ve seen in a while.
In our church we usually give our offering right after the worship in music and I often emphasise how the giving of financial gifts is just a continuation of worship. Amelia, a sweet, brown curly headed four year old, had been drawing a picture on a coloured piece of paper about the size of a dollar bill. As the plate went past her something clicked in her mind but too late as the plate was already past. So, much to the amusement of those around her, she jumped up on the pew and turned around and stretched as far as she could to put her picture in the plate as it was passed down the bench behind her.
When a child wants to give her mother a Mother’s Day present to say that she loves her often she’ll draw a picture. I remember getting various crafts and arts for Father’s Day from the boys over the years, a few pieces I still have. Does it have any value? Not to anyone else but it sure does to me. It’s an expression of love; a visible, tangible piece my child’s heart and soul.
That’s what Amelia gave to God. Now I’m sure she didn’t grasp the full impact of what she was doing, and undoubtedly part of it was imitation of what she saw the adults doing, but still it was a precious moment of worship and a lesson in it for us.
When we place our cheques or cash in the offering plate, we’re not just paying the pastor’s salary and keeping the lights burning in the church. It should be an expression of our worship and adoration of God; a declaration that all that I am and all that I have doesn’t belong to me but is from God. It’s a visible demonstration of faith that says I trust God to provide for all my needs even as he uses me to help provide for the needs of others.
Thank you, Amelia, for leading me to worship.