Everything has been freely and abundantly provided
1 Chronicles 29:14
“For all things come from you, and of your own have we given you”
For Christians, this week marks the end of the liturgical year. Next Sunday the Advent Season ushers in the new liturgical year. The end of a year is a time of reflection, a time to take stock or inventory, a time of reckoning, if you like. This need not be foreboding because it is like a traveler checking on a compass.
So, this week, Thanksgiving jolts us to this reality – not only Christians, but also all of us. It is, indeed, like a time to look at oneself in the mirror, actually, the spiritual mirror.
Let us do so with these words of David’s prayer as recorded in 1 Chronicles 29: 14: “Who am I and who are my people; that we should have the means to make such a freewill offering; but all is from You, and it is Your gift that we have given to You” The NLT (New Living Translation) reads: “Everything we have has come from you and we give you only what you first gave us!”
Think about this for a moment: David had just completed or accomplished a major undertaking of his life – putting together all the resources needed to build the Temple. The nation had come together with offerings; the king and his people could see, vividly, what they had achieved; evidence of their labor, their determination, their investments, their skill, their all.
Yet, David paused and reaffirmed a fundamental truth: Everything we have, every accomplishment, every success, our very being, has being gifted to us. None is our creation.
Friends: Our society, culture and market system idolizes success, achievement and accomplishment as our own making. Let us begin this holiday season and Advent with David’s humility: We have no generosity or smiles, or compassion but which has freely been given to us. We have no gift cards, no presents, coats or electronics that are ours – we have received them freely for our common sustenance.
That is the nature of divine grace, divine generosity: Everything has been freely and abundantly given. There is enough of everything for every creature God created.