Percy challenges our attitude of giving of ourselves, of our time, talents, and possessions. Is it a tabernacle mind set or a temple one? Is it out of a heart of joy and love for God or out of a heart of drudgery and obligation? (The editor apologizes for missing the first minute or so of the sermon, caused by equipment failure - or rather operator clumsiness - he dropped the recorder and it lost that portion.)
Here are the scripture portions that Percy used:
Exodus 35:4 - 35 (NRSV)
Moses said to all the congregation of the Israelites: This is the thing that the Lord has commanded: Take from among you an offering to the Lord; let whoever is of a generous heart bring the Lord’s offering: gold, silver, and bronze; blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and fine linen; goats’ hair, tanned rams’ skins, and fine leather; acacia wood, oil for the light, spices for the anointing-oil and for the fragrant incense, and onyx stones and gems to be set in the ephod and the breastpiece.
All who are skilful among you shall come and make all that the Lord has commanded: the tabernacle, its tent and its covering, its clasps and its frames, its bars, its pillars, and its bases; the ark with its poles, the mercy-seat, and the curtain for the screen; the table with its poles and all its utensils, and the bread of the Presence; the lampstand also for the light, with its utensils and its lamps, and the oil for the light;and the altar of incense, with its poles, and the anointing-oil and the fragrant incense, and the screen for the entrance, the entrance of the tabernacle; the altar of burnt-offering, with its grating of bronze, its poles, and all its utensils, the basin with its stand; the hangings of the court, its pillars and its bases, and the screen for the gate of the court;the pegs of the tabernacle and the pegs of the court, and their cords;the finely worked vestments for ministering in the holy place, the holy vestments for the priest Aaron, and the vestments of his sons, for their service as priests.
Then all the congregation of the Israelites withdrew from the presence of Moses. And they came, everyone whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and brought the Lord’s offering to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the sacred vestments. So they came, both men and women; all who were of a willing heart brought brooches and earings and signet rings and pendants, all sorts of gold objects, everyone bringing an offering of gold to the Lord. And everyone who possessed blue or purple or crimson yarn or fine linen or goats’ hair or tanned rams’ skins or fine leather, brought them. Everyone who could make an offering of silver or bronze brought it as the Lord’s offering; and everyone who possessed acacia wood of any use in the work, brought it. All the skilful women spun with their hands, and brought what they had spun in blue and purple and crimson yarns and fine linen; all the women whose hearts moved them to use their skill spun the goats’ hair. And the leaders brought onyx stones and gems to be set in the ephod and the breastpiece, and spices and oil for the light, and for the anointing-oil, and for the fragrant incense. All the Israelite men and women whose hearts made them willing to bring anything for the work that the Lord had commanded by Moses to be done, brought it as a freewill-offering to the Lord.
Then Moses said to the Israelites: See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel son of Uri son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; he has filled him with divine spirit, with skill, intelligence, and knowledge in every kind of craft, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, in every kind of craft.And he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with skill to do every kind of work done by an artisan or by a designer or by an embroiderer in blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and in fine linen, or by a weaver—by any sort of artisan or skilled designer.
Deuteronomy 8:11-18 (NRSV)
Take care that you do not forget the Lord your God, by failing to keep his commandments, his ordinances, and his statutes, which I am commanding you today. When you have eaten your fill and have built fine houses and live in them, and when your herds and flocks have multiplied, and your silver and gold is multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied, then do not exalt yourself, forgetting the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery,who led you through the great and terrible wilderness, an arid waste-land with poisonous snakes and scorpions. He made water flow for you from flint rock, and fed you in the wilderness with manna that your ancestors did not know, to humble you and to test you, and in the end to do you good. Do not say to yourself, ‘My power and the might of my own hand have gained me this wealth.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today.