4th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C
Jeremiah 1:4-5, 17-19
Psalm 71:1-6, 15, 17
1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13
January 31, 2016
In the last two weeks, I have spoken about using what God has given us in time, talent, and treasure to help our church be all it is meant to be. This is good stewardship.
I have talked about how we need to ask God to guide us in knowing how we are to use what we have been given. Why ask God? Because he is our creator. What does he say to Jeremiah? “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you.”
God has known us even before we were conceived in our mother’s womb. God knows what talents we have. God knows how much time we have to contribute. God knows what treasure we have. God knows us better than we know ourselves.
It is important to realize that, as Paul wrote in last week’s second reading, we are all many parts making up one body. We each have a different role to play. What we can do is important. However, it is not the most important thing. As Paul writes, if we do not have love we are nothing.
It is love that should be our motivator. In Jesus’ days on Earth, people “were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.” We should be amazed. The words are to motivate us in God’s way, the way of love.
In part of hearing about stewardship the last two weeks, we have heard about our appeal to increase our Sunday collections from members of our Stewardship Committee and Finance Council.
Today is the day we ask you to make a commitment about the treasure aspect of your giving for the coming year. Before we do that, I want to make what I feel is a very important distinction between giving and contributing. You could simply think about what you put in the collection each week as helping us to pay our bills. We all have bills to pay but if we only see it as paying the bills, I believe we miss something.
Yes, what you give in the collection helps pay the bills but it isn’t just to pay the bills. Why do we get bills? Because we are here to do the work of God. In today’s world, that requires money. When you share your treasure with our church, you are contributing to the ministry we do. It is not about money. It is about mission.
Now, we have talked about our appeal the last two Sundays and you should have received a mailing with a letter and brochure this week. I hope you had a chance to read them. If not, I will just repeat what was said that we aren’t asking for money for some new ministry or construction. We need more money to simply pay our bills. What we are asking today is for you to increase what you put in the first collection. If we are able to increase our collections, then I won’t spend so much time worrying about our bills and can work on what is really important. We aren’t asking for you to increase what you put in the second collection (you can).
So, having said all this, I’m going to ask you to fill out your commitment card now…