In the Bible all manner of sacrifices and offerings are recorded.
In Scripture, the nature of a sacrifice or offering is normally a religious act belonging to worship in which a material offering is made to God. Sometimes the item may be destroyed or consumed by the worshippers or given for redistribution for others. Sacrifices and offerings can come with all manner of motives. In the Old Testament many of them were to appease or atone for the sin and guilt of people or as the price of reconciliation and restoration.
Some other offerings were to give thanks. For example in Leviticus 3 there is a fellowship or peace offering. This was offered by those who were already at peace with God. From this state of reconciliation and thankfulness came the desire to express gratitude, much like a big family banquet might signify the family at one with each other enjoying the fruit of God’s goodness around the table together [Lev 19:5]. It’s a wonderful image.
Peace offerings were spontaneous, coming from an overflow of thankfulness and the sacrifice was shared gladly with others [Lev 7:15,16].
There were three types of peace offering: praise, votive [or vow] and freewill offerings.
The blokes group I am a part of were chatting about the Duffs recently and there was a lot of thankfulness for who they are, how they have inhabited our lives and what they have achieved in their time with us at St Philips.
While they will be with us in church until the end of the year, from the first week in September James will work for St Philips for just two days per week.
One of James’ and Jane’s challenges will be to restructure their lives and finances. They need to make up for the lost income resulting from stepping out into their new Family on Mission adventure in Palmyra with Jared and Tenille Murtha.
My blokes group suggested we create a financial gift opportunity for anyone at St Philips who wants to participate. The suggestion is to take up an offering of the ‘fellowship’ or ‘peace’ variety and in the category of ‘freewill’ for James and Jane as they prepare their transition.
This is completely voluntary and optional and separate from any other financial request or pledge of recent times. It is a chance to make a personal, spontaneous, one-off offering to God to give thanks for and to bless James and Jane.
The money will be collected by dropping cash or cheques to the office on Wednesday or Thursday next week OR by making a direct contribution to the St Philips Bank Account (BSB 706-001; Acc 30003160) designated “for the Duffs”.
There will be no announcements as to how much has been given although there may be some token of acknowledgement that this has taken place and James and Jane might want to say thanks when they find out.
James and Jane have no idea this is going on.
There is much joy in blessing others. Greater it is to give than to receive. The honour is ours and may God be glorified as we make our offering to him to the benefit of the Duffs.