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Almost Anonymous: Giving is Never Really Secret.

A few years ago Anonymous was moved by a random email from a bishop within the ACNA. This man was at a particularly prayerful and important time in his life. He was near retirement; he had sold a business. And he was waiting for guidance from the Lord on how to best honor Him for His provision. The random email from the bishop sparked his imagination. Subsequently through prayer, Anonymous landed on Isaiah 58 as the inspiration for what God was calling him to do.

Isaiah 58 reads (in part), “Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo the straps of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover him, and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?” (This is what Jesus echoes in Matthew 25.)

This man was convinced that God was calling him to set aside a significant amount of money for the work of compassion and outreach to the poor. He contacted our Archbishop and asked if funds might be needed within the ACNA. (Archbishop Beach subsequently called the effort to place these funds The Matthew 25 Initiative.)

Fast-forward a few years. Last March, through our Archbishop, I was asked to meet this man and help find a way to make this vision happen.

More specific details of the matching fund program called The Matthew 25 Initiative are available at the link and applicants are urged to apply for matching grants. Significant funds have already been given; good work is being done around the ACNA because of this effort. New ministries and new applications are hoped for soon. See details at the site.

But I want to consider a deeper issue: Anonymous is anonymous…almost. He cares about being obedient more than being known. He cares about faithfulness over fame. And God is using him and these resources for the advance of the Gospel and for the good of the poor and marginalized.

But, in fact, nothing we do is really ever anonymous. It can only be mostly anonymous. There is One who knows…and for all those who give and give freely and in secret, there is One who sees in secret. Jesus said, “But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (Matthew 6:3-4)

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