When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, neither shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. And you shall not strip your vineyard bare, neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 19:9-10 ESV
When you reap your harvest in your field and forget a sheaf in the field, you shall not go back to get it. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands. When you beat your olive trees, you shall not go over them again. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, you shall not strip it afterward. It shall be for the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow. You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore I command you to do this. Deuteronomy 24:19-22 ESV
When I was a kid, my church had a sharing table in the late summer. Many people had gardens that were producing more fruit and vegetables than they could eat, so they would bring extra food to the sharing table. Anyone could take home whatever they liked. Some workplaces have people who bring garden food in to give to people who don’t have gardens and would like some. Sometimes neighbors share with each other from their gardens. Best of all, some people give extra garden food to food pantries where people who don’t have enough to eat can take it and feed it to their families.
God wanted his people to share like that when they came to the promised land. They were to remember that the land belonged to God, and that he was letting them use it to grow food for their families. They were to always to remember that they had been poor and helpless once when they were slaves, and they weren’t allowed to take home all the food from their fields. People who were poor, especially families who had lost the father, and also foreign people who weren’t Israelites, were free to go into the fields and gather what they needed so they could eat. This practice taught everyone–both the landowners and the poor–to trust God to give them enough, and it also gave people the dignity of working for what they needed.
God gives us many blessings every day, more than we need. When we realize how much God has given us it makes us willing to share with others. We know there is enough for everyone and that we can trust God to give us what we need and not try to hang onto every bit of it for ourselves. The greatest gift God ever gave was his Son Jesus, who died for us and became our Savior. Jesus has enough love and forgiveness for everyone, and we never need to hesitate to share his love with others. There will always be enough love to go around, enough for all the people in the world!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for all the blessings you give us, and especially for our Savior Jesus. Please help us to be willing to share your blessings with others. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.