Gateway Gazette

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Manna Generosity

In the eighth and ninth chapters of Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians there is a plea for generosity. For some time Paul had planned to take up a collection of funds among the Gentiles to give to the Christians in Jerusalem during their time of need. Paul saw in the Church the ability for those who had been blessed with wealth to share with those brothers and sisters in Christ who had not. In many of Paul’s letters you see hints and references to this massive undertaking he planned, but none as clear as 2 Corinthians 8-9, in which Paul directly and boldly asks, demands, expects, and shames the Corinthians into donating to the Christians in Jerusalem. For example:

Be the best in this work of grace in the same way that you are the best in everything, such as faith, speech, knowledge, total commitment, and the love we inspired in you. I’m not giving an order, but by mentioning the commitment of others, I’m trying to prove the authenticity of your love also. You know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Although he was rich, he became poor for our sakes, so that you could become rich through his poverty. 10 I’m giving you my opinion about this. It’s to your advantage to do this, since you not only started to do it last year but you wanted to do it too. 11 Now finish the job as well so that you finish it with as much enthusiasm as you started, given what you can afford. 12 A gift is appreciated because of what a person can afford, not because of what that person can’t afford, if it’s apparent that it’s done willingly. 13 It isn’t that we want others to have financial ease and you financial difficulties, but it’s a matter of equality. 14 At the present moment, your surplus can fill their deficit so that in the future their surplus can fill your deficit. In this way there is equality. 15 As it is written, “The one who gathered more didn’t have too much, and the one who gathered less didn’t have too little.”

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Cubist Psalm

There is something for everyone in Psalm 30. It captures a plethora of human emotions and different moments with God. No matter if you’ve just been through a trying time or you are about to begin one, Psalm 30 has much wisdom to offer.
1I will extol you, O LORD, for you have drawn me up, and did not let my foes rejoice over me. 
2O LORD my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. 
3O LORD, you brought up my soul from Sheol, restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit. 
4Sing praises to the LORD, O you his faithful ones, and give thanks to his holy name. 
5For his anger is but for a moment; his favor is for a lifetime. Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning. 
6As for me, I said in my prosperity, “I shall never be moved.” 
7By your favor, O LORD, you had established me as a strong mountain; you hid your face; I was dismayed. 
8To you, O LORD, I cried, and to the LORD I made supplication: 
9“What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the Pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness? 
10Hear, O LORD, and be gracious to me! O LORD, be my helper!”
11You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, 
12so that my soul may praise you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks to you forever.

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