Sunday’s Scripture ~ Mark 1:16-20 (Luke 5:1-11).
This week Judi Hamrick will offer her leadership in worship by offering the sermon. This gift to our congregation is part of Judi’s certification process to be recognized as a Certified Lay Minister in our congregation. Thank you, Judi, for your preparation for and service in worship this Sunday!
Stewardship Focus ~ I Chronicles 28:3-8.
King David has this vision to construct the Temple of the Lord. He has gathered God’s people around him both to join in the excitement of this vision and to actively be part of it.
There will be no “armchair quarterbacks” in this arena.
Having made all the appropriate preparations, the word of God is heard, “You shall not build a house for my name, for you are a warrior and have shed blood” (v. 3). David was a man after God’s own heart. He was also a warrior king. While he would not build the Temple, it would be built from his house, by and under the supervision of his son, Solomon. David, therefore, spent his life – serving and stewarding – to lay the foundation so that Solomon would be ready to construct and complete God’s home.
One aspect of stewardship – of our giving to God in support of and in response to our faith – is that we give in full knowledge that we may not experience the final product. This awareness leads us in the following shift of belief: the act of giving is, in fact, the product we are to pursue, rather than what is achieved or accomplished as a result of our giving.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt said in his inauguration speech, “True [the leaders in the present age] have tried, but their efforts have been cast in the pattern of an outworn tradition. Faced by failure of credit they have proposed only the lending of more money.
Stripped of the lure of profit by which to induce our people to follow their false leadership, they have resorted to exhortations, pleading tearfully for restored confidence. They know only the rules of a generation of self-seekers. They have no vision, and when there is no vision the people perish.”* If we live – if we give – only for our own generation or only so that we experience the final product, then we live as self-seekers. We will, then, be a people without vision and surely we will perish.
I am confident God has more in mind for us. So much more. And we will behold and become it as we make ourselves available to God’s leading and through our stewardship lay the foundation for future generations.
Prayer: “Open my ears, that I may hear voices of truth thou sendest clear; and while the wavenotes fall on my ear, everything false will disappear. Silently now I wait for thee, ready, my God, thy will to see. Open my ears, illumine me, Spirit divine!”**
*Franklin D. Roosevelt, Inaugural Address, March 4, 1933, as published in Samuel Rosenman, ed., The Public Papers of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Volume Two: The Year of Crisis, 1933 (New York: Random House, 1938), 11–16.
**“Open My Eyes, That I May See,” The United Methodist Hymnal 454.