Culture, Gospel

Spare Change Living and Giving

Ken Stern asks “the wealthiest Americans donate 1.3 percent of their income; the poorest, 3.2 percent. What’s up with that?”

One of the most surprising, and perhaps confounding, facts of charity in America is that the people who can least afford to give are the ones who donate the greatest percentage of their income. In 2011, the wealthiest Americans—those with earnings in the top 20 percent—contributed on average 1.3 percent of their income to charity. By comparison, Americans at the base of the income pyramid—those in the bottom 20 percent—donated 3.2 percent of their income. The relative generosity of lower-income Americans is accentuated by the fact that, unlike middle-class and wealthy donors, most of them cannot take advantage of the charitable tax deduction, because they do not itemize deductions on their income-tax returns.

Ken Stern, Why the Rich Don’t Give to Charity, The Atlantic, April 2013

I remember Jesus once observing a woman quietly slipping a few coins into the offering box at the temple’s entrance and then calling his disciples together with these words:

“I assure you that this poor widow has put in more than everyone who’s been putting money in the treasury. All of them are giving out of their spare change. But she from her hopeless poverty has given everything she had, even what she needed to live on” (Mark 12:43-44, CEB)

How is your spirit of generosity in these times?


Why Jesus?

Jesus didn’t come to start a new religion, but a new revolution, a community of people who through him could get close to God and passionately serve people. To commit ourselves fully to the Jesus journey we must be convinced that he is the Way, the Truth and the Life.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; for in him all things in heaven and on earth were
created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers-all things have been created through him and for him.  He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.  He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, so that he might come to have first place in everything.  For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him God was pleased to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, by making peace through the blood of his cross (Colossians 1:15-20).

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