Vital Signs of Faith: GIVE
Our culture is constantly measuring the stuff we have accumulated. How new is your car? How large are your bank accounts? What is the square footage of your house?
When we are young, we are told that we need to make sure we secure our financial future. We need to maximize our IRA and our 401(k). We need to make sure our time is spent securing our future. We shouldn’t sacrifice time to help someone else unless we expect that person to return the favor.
When we are older, our culture tells us that we need to guard what we have accumulated. We are warned not to give away too much because a recession might be just around the corner. The economy could fall apart. Inflation could accelerate. Stocks could plummet.
So, what’s the core message of our culture? You will be happy if you have a lot of stuff. So, get as much as you can. Once you have some stuff and financial security, don’t let it go.
However, Jesus said to his disciples, "Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give alms.”
Our culture calls us to get stuff and guard our possessions. God calls us to give.
If you are reading this email on a phone or a computer, you presumably own that phone or computer. If left to their own devices, very few people will give away all they have. Our natural inclination is to accumulate, so our faith pushes us to think about our possessions differently.
As Jesus explained to his followers, generosity is one of the lynchpins of our faith. God gives to us: “it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom…” In return, we are called to practice generosity. “Give alms,” Jesus commanded.
This directive not only relates to our wealth. We are also called to give generously of our time. We are called to share our knowledge. We are called to share our joys with others, bringing laughter and love more deeply into our communities. We are called to generosity, even when it might mean that we aren’t double and triple secure with our own financial future.
Last Sunday, we launched a sermon series on four vital signs of the faith. This Sunday, we will continue this series by looking at our call to give. I look forward to worshiping with you, as we consider God’s generosity and the example this can provide for each of us.