We collect money in worship - yes, to fund what the church needs to do, but more importantly for you to grow spiritually, and to counteract the stranglehold money has on our souls. What if we let the offering time in worship linger in our minds so we might become worshipful with all our money during the week?
What is money for? Seems obvious - but then again: does money burn a hole in your pocket so you buy stuff like right now? Is money for investing, a nest egg, to earn more money or provide a security blanket? Is money an index that declares my worth as a person? Where does my money go? and is God glorified by what I do with it?
Jesus talked a lot about money, although he didn't have much. He suggested that God feels about us the way a poor woman feels about one lost coin, and she sweeps and hunts on her knees until she finds it. Maybe the next time you hold some change in your hand, which in today's economy feels relatively useless, more of a bother than anything else, remember that woman who prized her coin, and that Jesus values you and me, and the other person who only seems worthless.
Yes, Jesus warned us about money, how it deceives, misleads, usurps God's place in our souls - and how it cannot deliver. Some Americans insist our money should say "In God we trust," but we should shiver over the realization that money has become the god in which we vest our trust.
John Wesley spoke up for Jesus when he said Make all the money you can, save all you can, then give all you can - and he didn't mean Give the extra money you don't really need. Give generously, sacrificially, joyfully. "If you have money, consider that perhaps the only reason God allowed it to fall into your hands was in order that you might find joy and perfection by giving it away" (Thomas Merton).