Giving – An Act of Trust

As the evenings lengthen I find myself withdrawing into a more contemplative time. Somehow the darkness invites an internal focus just as the church year transitions from Jesus’ ministry activity to the mystery of his birth.

November 8th is Stewardship Sunday when we celebrate the in-gathering of 2016 pledges. It is a celebration because our gifts to the church express our gratitude to God. Giving is also a personal act that can call for some contemplation.

As two little girls counted their pennies, one said, “I have five. How many do you have?” “Ten,” the other answered. “You don’t! You just have five, the same as me,” the first protested, pointing at the other girl’s palm. “No, I have five here, and my dad said he would give me five more when he gets home tonight,” her friend said. “So that makes ten.”

That little girl’s answer summarizes in one sentence what Jesus said about the financial security of persons who maintain a strong relationship with God. The poor woman Jesus observed giving the largest possible offering (all she had) at the temple did not expect to starve to death. She did not see herself as doing something rash. She gave generously because she knew there was more where that came from — God (Mark 12:41-44).

According to church finance guru, Bill Couch, “Giving is not so much an act of generosity as it is an act of trust. We do not feel financially secure because we have; we feel secure because we trust God to continue providing what we need.” © Copyright 2007 by Bill Couch.

I’ve spent most of my adult life renouncing my mother’s chief complaint about the church. She thought the church only cared about how much she gave to it. However, I find it to be a great investment in my spiritual well-being. I want the church to exist to make God’s love manifest in a hurting world. I want the church to exist so I can be transformed by God. I want the church to exist so God’s agency can work through it to make the world a more just and peaceful place.

As you prepare for Sunday and fill out your pledge card, I invite you to consider why you give and what you hope your gift will accomplish.

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