from the sermon February 9, 2014
There are very few over cautious consumers in an affluent society like our own; therefore without the notion of budgeting our time or our money the setting of just priorities becomes difficult. In other words it is all too easy to simply forget about the needs of our church.
We have forgotten that tithing – or being very intentional about giving a set percentage of the financial gifts God gives us- is an ancient and honored method of giving in gratitude to God. If everyone simply set aside a certain amount for his church, there would not be a congregation having financial difficulties.
Think about it. We best support the needs of our family and the needs of our church by considering our priorities in life and how they relate to the financial resources with which we have been blessed. That which God requires of us is to be grateful for the gifts we have been given and to be faithful in sharing what we have with others. One approach we might take is to ask ourselves, for example, how much we spend on the necessities of life: food, clothing shelter and entertainment. Then compare that to what we are giving to help others. It’s a way of taking a good look at where our priorities truly lie in life. Does our church giving look more like what we spend on food or what you spend on cable or our morning coffee?
While we realize that in our day, church giving is less of a priority than an impulse, we can be grateful for the impulses of giving which support our congregation. We rejoice that people do give today, abundantly in terms of their time and money to causes which are vital and important, we are a giving people, sharing, helping, giving, makes us happy.
There is something which God may require of us: to be grateful for the gifts we have been given and to be faithful in sharing what we have with others – to build the values of God’s kingdom of justice and peace, of compassion and kindness in our home, community and world.
Yet the church is a bit old fashioned in the ways in which it provides opportunities for giving. In a cashless, check free, budget-less society, we ask for a pledge payable in cash or check, we are out of date in terms of a cyber based society dependent upon plastic as a means of giving.