Deuteronomy 26:10 – So now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground that you, O Lord, have given me. (NRSV)
We live in a leftover society. Actually, many of us live on leftovers. We clean out the refrigerator to scrounge a meal from the many that went before. We frequent 'new to you' shops. This is a polite way of saying 'leftovers'. Saturday morning wouldn't be complete for many without a tour of the garage sales and later to the auction block and maybe, toward the end of the day, a quick trip to a flea market. What they all have in common is offering leftovers. Another example might be found on a Sunday morning when the offering plate is passed and a quick check is made of the change in pant pocket or purse. Pick out the two-dollar coins and hold them tight and let the one-dollar coins go into the plate. Leftovers such as this are never missed much anyway.
Come with me to a world long ago and far away. Come to Israel at the harvest time and see people in the fields gathering the very first, and the very best, of the produce and bringing it as an offering before God. A litany is recited on such occasions. The litany acknowledges that the people stand on hallowed ground, ground granted them by the grace of God. When the offering of the first and the best is made and received, the litany continues with a recitation of the people's place in God's plan…
- the wandering of the people and the leading of God,
the years of misery and slavery in Egypt,
the faithfulness of God and the promise of a new land
and the fulfilment of that promise
and finally the call to celebrate…
"with all the bounty that the Lord your God has given to you…" (Deuteronomy 26:11)
Friends, we are in a season to celebrate all the bounty that the Lord has given us.
Prayer: Bountiful God we are blessed with abundance, and the beauty of the earth is awesome in our eyes. Complete the vision of an overflowing cornucopia with grateful hands offering it to meet the need of others and thereby fulfilling the dream of our Lord Jesus Christ: "Just as you did it to one the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me." Amen.