Jonathan Merritt: Remixed - Getting Givers
The Kingdom of God rests on concrete principle: God is a giver. And the list of good gifts he offers is vast. He offers forgiveness and love and grace and mercy and compassion. Jesus is saying that when we lean into the kingdom, we begin to give the good gifts that God gives us. And as we pour out these gifts, they eventually spill out onto us. “Give, and it will be given to you,” Jesus says.
The image here is of a serving container into which as much grain as possible is packed. Then the container is shaken to allow the grain to settle, and more is poured in until the container overflows and spills out onto one’s lap. The idea is that God is the giver of good gifts and in the Kingdom we become conduits, rather than repositories, that pass along the good gifts we have received to others. Sure, financial generosity is included. But there are other kinds of gifts that kingdom citizens offer.
Jesus is explaining the way life in the kingdom works. Blessings have a way of returning back to us. And the more we bless, the more we end up blessed. You’ll receive something that money cannot buy, time cannot fade, rust cannot erode, robbers cannot steal, and death cannot take away. But there are several myths that come along with this teaching that are prevalent among Christians today.
In this fourth talk in the "Remixed" series, I explore how we can learn to be getting givers (begins at 25:13):