I found myself mulling over the offerings. For any required offering or fulfillment of a vow, the offering needed to be without blemish, a best offering. The lone exception to this is a freewill offering that is not connected to the fulfillment of a vow. These fellowship offerings, what I might term a friendship offering, could have a defect.
Why the distinction? I honestly don’t know, the text is silent. But the silence allows for contemplation. I think about my friends and my best friends; they get to see me when I am not at my best. A best friend can pop over… the house may be messy but there are few pretenses so seeing them is more important than appearances.
A best friend can pop over and I may say, “Hey, how about hanging for dinner?” It may be just what I was going to throw together… even leftovers or burgers grabbed from the freezer. But again, there is no pretense so it is really a matter of being together not the excellence of the food.
For me this provides a possible reason for the allowance of a blemished offering.
At its core a fellowship offering was an above and beyond, it was an “I love you” kind of offering. It might be a ‘thank you’, but it could also be I just wanted to be with you. And the desire to be with the other is more essential than the ‘meal.’
As I think about this I carry the impression that the Lord truly enjoys these kinds of fellowship offerings.
In my life I think these ‘fellowship offering times’ are the times when I see something striking in nature and pause to thank and bless God for the gift of what I just saw. It might be a day when I have held my devotion and prayer time and yet some time later in the day I just want to sit and speak with God again or read a bit more in His Word. It might be when I feel my life is blessed and I decide to write out a check for something out of the ordinary that blesses the Lord and send it simply because I am touched by the love of Jesus.
I think these are a few examples of modern day fellowship/friendship offering and I am sure there are many other examples… at their heart they are a spur of the moment, ‘I love You, God.’ They may not be perfect or extravagant… they are simply love in action.
Lord, here is my love in actions today… Given to You simply because I love You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.