ALMS . . . Giving of earthly possessions so that you might store up heavenly ones

Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Reference: Luke 12:32-34 )

Historic Anabaptist believer Andreas Ehrenpreis wrote “This is also the true worship of God. Giving a penny is not enough. No, those who want to be a light in the world must give themselves and, in giving light to others are themselves consumed, Matt. 5:14-16. That is what Christ did, but he also admonished the young man to give what he had to the poor and to come and follow him, Matt. 19:16. Whoever claims to belong to Christ in love, but cannot give their possessions to the community for the sake of Christ and the poor, cannot deny that they love worldly goods, over which they have only been placed as caretakers for a time, more than Christ. Therefore Christ says, blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven, Matt. 5:3. Yet Christ does not ask this simply for the sake of the poor, but also that his followers may be free and surrendered and not have a treasure on earth to which they tie their heart, about which he warned, Luke 12:22-34. Let everyone seek the welfare of others. Love does not seek to meet its own needs, 1 Cor. 13.”

If ever there was a delicate balance, it is in the giving alms. Taken to one extreme or the other could be perilous. If you give too much, there is the danger of needing the alms yourself. But if you give too little, what you keep for yourself will turn to dust in the life to come. In THAT live things of the earth mean nothing. But compassion, caring and giving mean everything. Ehrenpreis does, if you read carefully, advocate that balance. We are to be caretakers of what we have in this life, but not so tied to it that we “invest” little or nothing in heaven.

How are you doing beloved on this balance? I hope and prayer that you “seek the welfare of others”, and that when you have need others look of for your welfare. In the faith community this is one of the important tasks, and is also an important task of being a neighbor. May you build up such a treasure in heaven and use wisely the treasures on earth that God has blessed you with. Selah!

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About Carole Boshart

I have two blogs on WordPress. "A Simple Desire" which is based on the daily "Sips of Scripture" published and sent out by Third Way Cafe. "Pondering From the Pacific" is based on my reflections on the world - sometimes religious/spiritual, and sometimes not so much.

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