Reading time: two minutes. We watched the movie “Ghost” a while back. Nice movie. Lousy theology. But I love the scene where Whoopi Goldberg’s character, Oda Mae Brown, gives the embezzled check for $4 million to the Sisters of Charity raising funds for the homeless. With a big, fake grin and teeth gritted tighter than a vise, she offers the check, but can’t let go! Watching the nun and the reluctant donor wrestle over the check for a few brief seconds was hilarious! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JsGZAN0ol3U Psalm 51, where David repents of his sins of adultery and murder, ends in a very interesting fashion that I had not noticed before. The bottom line of repentance and grace? For David, it was the offering basket!David prayed that God would “restore to me the joy of your salvation.” Our God is the God of joy. Joy His primary nature, joy is what we lost in the fall to sin, and joy accompanies our restoration to God by His gracious forgiveness. In Psalm 51:16, David acknowledges that God doesn’t delight in sacrifice, just for the sake of sacrifice. $4 million to support the homeless means nothing to Him. The nuns got the money, but Oda Mae walked away with her heart still firmly in her own gritted tooth possession. David continues that “The sacrifices of God are a broken and contrite spirit; a broken and contrite heart” (17). So after he prays that God would restore him and that God would restore the fortunes of Jerusalem, he draws the conclusion that such amazing grace will produce a particular result. Here’s how this song of repentance ends: “Then there will be righteous sacrifices, whole burnt offerings to delight you” (19). Wow! God brings us to repentance, overwhelms us with forgiving grace, restores the joy of salvation, and joy is expressed in offerings of thanks and celebration! I read a story not long ago of an envelope a pastor found in the offering basket. It contained only eighteen cents, but scrawled on the outside was this testimony: “Don’t be mad. I don’t have much. I’m homeless.” Mad? Hardly. An offering from a heart overflowing with the joy of salvation makes God glad. Thanks for your generosity. Thanks for reading. Subscribe to Blog Do you serve on a professional church worker conference planning committee? Our staff has vast experience leading groups of all sizes from every church work background through innovative wellness programs custom designed to meet your needs. Contact Program Director Darrell Zimmerman today to begin exploring the possibilities or visit our website to see some of our ideas for your conference!