Joseph Rank was a flour miller’s son who in 1883 made two momentous decisions. The first was a business decision that made him rich. He switched from using millstones to steel rollers. The second, a spiritual decision, changed his life. He became a committed Christian. Instead of living a lavish lifestyle, Joseph and his wife Emily lived simply and gave away the rest. His generosity was contagious. One of his sons, Joseph Rank, was a movie mogul in the 1940’s and established the huge Rank Foundation that still gives grants today. Joseph Rank discovered the wholehearted giving that Jesus commends in passages such as, “Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8).
The PCC decided begin the New Year by having a Commitment Day on Sunday 18th January, with the Tuesday worship congregation being encouraged to think about this on the 20th. Whatever age or stage of life we are at, God loves it when we give cheerfully and doesn’t want us to give out of some sense of obligation to Him or anyone else (2 Corinthians 9:7). Why? Because it allows us to break free of the love of money which is the root of evil (1 Timothy 6:10) and enables individuals and organisations – in this case, your church – to do much good work. And in the case of your church, to give (I pray) glory to God as we do so.
Have you – have I – discovered the joy of whole-hearted, generous giving? Our Commitment Day is one opportunity to do so for all of us.
Rev’d Brian Magorrian