What is the Tithe?
by J. Richard Ballew
Simply put. the tithe is a voluntary offering of ten percent of one’s income, given to God. That’s right, ten percent, taken off the top.
In both Hebrew and Greek the word for tithe comes directly from the word for ten. It is a practice established long ago whereby God’s people have the opportunity to participate in the sacramentality of life by offering back a portion of what God has given to them. As such, tithing is more than just an act of obedience. It is an act of worship.
God not only provides us with the financial means necessary for our existence (Matthew 6:24-34). He also expects us to use these means wisely and compassionately in the advancement of His Kingdom (I John 3:17). Thus, giving and receiving have a direct and immediate impact upon our relationship with our Creator.
We take this opportunity to remember that when we are faithful to keep God’s commands, He is even more faithful to meet our needs.
There are many scriptural references to the practice of tithing – returning a tenth of God’s blessings in praise of Him. Our Lord Himself, in Matthew’s Gospel (23:23),admonishes us not to neglect the tithe in these latter days.
Consider what our circumstances could be if we were to restore this ancient practice here at Saint Nicholas. It could allow us to provide the prescribed salary and benefits to our pastor, to proceed much sooner with capital construction projects than can assist with the current inadequate parking situation, provide a measure of charity to the needy, as well as meeting the operating expenses which we currently anticipate. In other words, living in obedience to the ancient practice of tithing seems an obvious path to meeting the temporal needs of our parish. Could it happen here?
We also remind you that just like your bills at home our parish bills arrive regularly, whether or not you are at the Liturgy on a particular Sunday. If you miss a week, please, set your pledge aside, and bring it with you the next time you attend or drop it off in the mail to the parish address.
As important as your financial support is to the survival of the church, your participation in our parish community and the sharing of your talents is equally important. There are many opportunities to share your time and talents; serving on committees, singing in the choir, teaching our children, welcoming new members, or helping care for the temple and property. Of course, there is always room for altar servers to assist Father and the Deacons. Please, volunteer.
Thank you in advance for your generous support.