Worship Companion – August 29 2021

We’ve been on a six week journey together through our series “We the Church” and now we’ve come to the end. The final challenge in a series full of practical applications is this: Radical Generosity

Title: Heart of the World
Date: 21st century
Artist: Reva, Mikhail
Building: Odessa Children’s Hospital

Anchor Texts:
You may have heard the verse “God loves a cheerful giver” from 2 Cor 9:7, but there is more to this section than just that one sentiment. The church, then and now, is always at risk of becoming distracted and therefore the church needs to be reminded to always be ready to give generously when the need arises.
Once more to our favourite section of scripture for this series. This truly was radical generosity, but can and should it work out like this again today?
The book of Ezra is a narrative that focuses on the generosity of the people in rebuilding the Temple of the LORD in Jerusalem after Israel is allowed to return from exile under the Persians. It prefigures the kind of generosity that Christ calls his followers to, not toward a physical building project though, but toward the people who will constitute the new Spiritual Temple, the Church and it’s mission-field.
Preparation for Worship:
God of generosity beyond our wildest imaginations, You have given to us the greatest gift– life itself, at the expense of the life of Your very own Self. We thank You and praise You for the sacrifice of Jesus, Your Son, and our King. We confess that we have not modeled the same self-giving life that Jesus showed us, as we humbly ask that You would have mercy on us, and show us how to live a life of radical generosity with everything that we have, for the sake of Your Kingdom. Teach us to freely give as we have freely received, through Christ our Lord. Amen. 
Do you think that “radical generosity” is possible? What does it look like, in your understanding?
What does being a cheerful giver mean? Could it be an attitude or emotion connected to giving, or is it a sense of duty and understanding the importance of giving?
Many places in the Bible talk about generosity among believers – how does the teaching of Christ in Luke 6:33-36 qualify the scope of our generosity?
Theme in Song:
This worship song centres on generosity as a central feature of our Lord Jesus. He is the face of our Generous God, who pours out healing and forgiveness on all who ask and seek.

The Theme in Art:
We sometimes talk about the posture of generosity being that of having an open hand. I want us to consider the open hand of Christ as the primary image of generosity. He gave is very life for us, and asks that we are also willing to lay it all on the line for the sake of Him. Generosity comes in all forms, and Christ gives us botht he strongest challenge and push toward generosity, and at the same time has personally shows each one of us the greatest generosity imaginable. He doesn’t ask of us something He is unwilling to do Himself.

Title: Hand of Christ / The Palm of Peace
Date: 1897
Artist: Gallen-Kallela, Akseli, 1865-1931

The Theme in Video:
This theme video is geared toward adults, but kids could benefit to from this video, too. It’s a great way to understand generosity not just as a side theme to the “good life” but a central aspect of God’s good creation.

Here’s a that helps understand this basic truth: God is GENEROUS!


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