Give to God what is God’s

This small quote from Jesus is a great place to begin reflection on the question of stewardship: “What belongs to God?”

There is an old joke about ministers from different traditions (a minister, a priest, and a rabbi, or some variation thereof) talking about how to divide up the collections from their congregations. One puts a line on the ground and tosses the collection in the air. Whatever lands on his side of the line, he uses. The rest he gives to God. Another one puts a circle on the ground. The last one just tosses the money into the air, “Whatever God wants, he can keep.”

I have told that joke way too many times.  Next time just put your hand up and shake your head like a disappointed spouse. 

The truth is that we joke about money and faith because it is an uncomfortable intersection for many people. Money, if we are honest, is something we all worry about way more than we think we should. We know that it is where we show what we value, but we also struggle to get enough to all the places of need in our lives. 

I would love to tell you that we are different, but Amy and I both have clear values and worry about money way more than we should.

What I am not uncomfortable about is asking for money for church because I know where it goes. This is God’s work being done here, and I want you to be a part of it.  We are an embassy of God’s kingdom, and every week we welcome people into a reality where they are loved and known as God’s child by the work of the Holy Spirit.

Know Christ, Love Christ, and Serve Christ in all. Our stewardship is part of every part of our mission. It is a spiritual discipline and worship and a key part of our outreach.

Right now, please begin to pray about what you should pledge for the upcoming year. We are asking every family to consider a baseline of 5% giving. If that isn’t possible for you this year, pray about what you can do in God’s name.

Remember that everything we are belongs to God because we bear his image and likeness.

Our Father, we honor your name and are grateful to be a part of your kingdom coming on earth as it is in heaven: guide us in our understanding, worship, and giving. Grant us a joyful heart and a generous spirit as we plan and pledge for the upcoming year. Bless the offerings of your saints, and let us walk in the great throng of those who worship you with their lives from generation to generation. In the name and to the glory of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God now and forever. Amen.