It’s a moving experience for me, each year when I watch the congregation file forward on Commitment Sunday and place their estimate of giving cards on the altar as an act of dedication to God. I believe it’s important for this to be done as an act of worship. Because God has first given us so much, worship is, at its core, giving…giving “worth” to…giving thanks and praise, giving of ourselves to God for service, giving of our resources to further the kingdom.
This Sunday we get to do it again! I hope that you have given careful and prayerful consideration to what you believe God would have you give in 2012. There is a lot of fear in our world right now…and many people are motivated and dominated by fear. Determine your amount in good faith and with courage, knowing that God is our ultimate source of security, and that in a hurting world God needs our resources. And, remember, if your circumstances change, you can call the church office to change your amount.
As a pastor, it is not difficult for me to encourage people to give generously. Because I know that generous givers experience more love, joy and fulfillment in life than “scrooges.” I know that when we give, with what Bishop Schnase calls “extravagant generosity,” we grow in that faith, we become more complete persons, we, as Paul urged Timothy, “take hold of the life that is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:19)
And I know that the generosity of the people makes possible the growth of the life, mission, and ministry of the church. Even though I had already seen the video that many of you saw last Sunday morning celebrating the ways God is at work among us, I was still moved to view it with you. God is blessing this church! (If you missed the video, please take a few minutes and go view it on the website homepage) The generosity of the congregation has made much growth possible…and, I’m convinced, there’s much more to come! God is not through with us yet! We still strain to live into our mission “to be the living body of Christ.”
Dr. Ken Carter, our District Superintendent, will challenge us with a great sermon this Sunday in all three services, and we will have opportunity to bring forward our commitments for 2012. Pray, prepare, come make your response to the God who has given you life, grace, and blessing.
See You Sunday at the Giving, Growing Place,