Last week we finished a sermon series on Stewardship in our church called, “The Joy of Generosity,” by Robert Heerspink. In the last sermon we were invited to give generously to the poor with cheerful hearts out of gratitude for God’s salvation through Christ. This kind of joyful giving occurs in many areas of life, but in the context of the worship service, it often happens through the Offering. Now some churches take the offering after the sermon, which is a practical way of thanking God for his Word proclaimed. But we happen to do it after the Renewal, which is another appropriate place for it, as we’ve just confessed our sin and have been reminded of God’s grace. So, out of gratitude for salvation through Christ, we give generously to God. As we read in The Worship Sourcebook, “The offering is a vital part of our response to God and God’s Word. It helps us connect our adoration for God with our life of discipleship. The money given at the offering is a token and symbol of our desire to devote our whole selves to God’s service in response to God’s loving faithfulness to us.” (241) As followers of Christ we are called to offer up our bodies as living sacrifices (Rom. 12:1). Seems to me that giving our money to God is a practical way to offer up our bodies to God. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, of course. It can be hard to give away our hard earned money, especially when budgets are tight. But this is a worthy sacrifice to make when we consider the sacrifice that God made in giving up his Son for us. So, let us continue giving generously to the poor with cheerful hearts out of gratitude for God’s salvation through Christ.