Financial stewardship is an important part of living out a Christian life. It helps us not just to maintain, our financial obligation, but to plan for and build opportunities for worship, outreach, community, sacramental, pastoral and music ministry into the future.
In Scripture, God speaks to us, in both the Old and New Testaments, about sacrificial giving as part of our call as Christians.
In Acts, the disciples broke bread together and then shared in all the possessions and resources they had to sustain and grow their ministry (see Acts 2:36-47; Acts 4:31-5:16).
In the Gospels, In Mark 12:41-44 and Mark 21:1-4, Jesus praises a widow who put into the treasury two small copper coins worth a penny, saying, “truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
In the Old Testament we hear throughout God commanding tithing of money and of the best of the animals people had (that by which they could buy food, clothing, shelter).
Financial stewardship, as with every type of stewardship from how we use our gifts and capacities, to how we use our properties, to how we use the resources of our planet, is fundamentally about what we have been gifted with by God and what we are willing to offer up to him (see the parable of talents: Matthew 25:14–30; Luke 19:11–27).
All of us are in extraordinarily difficult times as individuals, as families, as organizations, as communities and as whole cities and nations. Our capacities and our resources have been diminished, or our debt loads increased or both. So too our confidence in a ‘bullish’ market may be shaken as we look at the economic ramifications of the coronavirus, and how these will impact our own finances, our time, our energy, and our capacities.
Yet the work of our parish is being sustained even in these times when we cannot gather in person. In fact, because of the coronavirus, we are discovering new ways to gather, to meet, to reach out, to connect, to share, and to embody God’s mission in our community. These new ways of engaging are being integrated into our common life before God, enriching and potentially building up our community, when we are able come together again.
To sustain what we have now, and to grow and flourish we need to continue with regular financial gifting. So I would ask you to reflect both on the Scriptures to which I’ve pointed and on the gifts God has given you that have sustained your livelihood.
Please consider how you might live into your Christian life by contributing to God’s mission to our community.
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