I know it is not October, it is February. The New Year has just begun. It is not nearly the fall season in which we stress stewardship. Still, I believe sharing thoughts about stewardship is worthy of a year-round discussion. Actually, I know of one congregation which holds a year-round stewardship campaign that is…well, could be…uncomfortable for some people. Maybe for you and I. This congregation simply invites people to publically share what they are giving during worship…on any Sunday throughout the year. And what’s more, people do so filled with joy and celebration.
But why would anyone want to share with others how much they give? Isn’t that, at best, a private matter? After all, doesn’t our culture encourage us to be silent about the sharing of our time, talent, and, of course, wealth? If we do share about our generosity, is that bragging?
I don’t believe it is. For look at an example of generous giving described in scriptures: when King David is planning to build the temple he shares that he plans to give and then the leaders declare what they will give, and then all people rejoiced and followed as well. And of course, they all shared so generously that there was more than enough to build the temple.
And think about this: Jesus asks us to let our lights shine before others so that they may see our good works and give glory to God in heaven. Yes, I know we have deeply personal lives with God. But I also believe our relationship with God is not meant to be kept private. In other words, in matters of stewardship, we are to answer Jesus’ call to let our lights shine and to share what we give so that we can encourage others to share generously as well. Remember only a person who knows how to swim can teach others how to swim. We do not learn how to speak a language unless others teach us how to speak it.
My friends, I am humbled to be gathered with you in Christ’s mission. For at Shepherd of the Mountains we are fortunate and grateful that by the power of the Holy Spirit we are generous and faithful givers. We understand that the generosity of time, talent and wealth is a reflection of our faith and so we share generously and encourage others to do so as well. We understand that by doing so we have a positive effect on the spiritual lives and faith development of ourselves and our neighbors. We strive to set good examples of an attitude of gratitude. Thank you.
Let us continue to let our lights shine in Christ!
Christ’s Peace, Pastor Steve